As companies start strategizing on 2023 initiatives, New Hope Network gathered with multiple C-suite executives to discuss trends and factors brands should consider for next year’s innovation. The largest consideration will continue to be pricing as costs continue to increase from raw materials, packaging, sourcing, travel, and labor. With an eye on cost, future innovations should consider these additional factors to remain competitive in 2023.
Seek alternative domestic sourcing: The war in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine continues to impact global food supplies as Ukraine and Russia account for nearly 80% of the world’s sunflower oil shipments – a very common ingredient in natural products. They also contribute a quarter of the world’s wheat.
Even before the war, the pandemic created supply chain issues many companies are still facing today. Having multiple backup suppliers is necessary, and the more manufacturers can find quality U.S. based alternative suppliers, the more it decreases the demand and impact of international sourcing.
Offer multi-function, multi-format immune and gut microbiome health
Functional beverages beyond regular nutrition are going to be very important as gut health and postbiotics are gaining traction. Consumers want their products to “multi-task” and “multi-function” as much as they do.
Moving beyond beverages, companies can set themselves apart in 2023 by offering multiple formats such as powders, capsules, liquid tinctures, or gummies. This allows customers to customize and personalize to their lifestyles and needs.
Specifically, consumers are looking for more plant-based options to come online as adaptogens and mushrooms continue to have a big impact in the industry.
Consider packaging sustainability and global impact
While the pandemic put a hold on many package-reducing initiatives, consumers are still paying attention to the amount of waste created by products. Having a sustainably sourced product in an unsustainable package is contradicting, consumers want packaging to be as thoughtfully considered as the product itself.
Adopting a B Corp mindset is key. Helping the global economy to benefit everyone and everything from consumers, producers, and the planet. Brands need to think about their impact on the world at large by focusing on upcycled products, highlighting underrepresented founders, creating a “give-back” model or regenerative supply chain impact.
Expand allergen-free and zero sugar options
There’s a new major allergen, sesame, to be added to food label callouts starting January 1st, 2023. Brands must go beyond Gluten Free in 2023 to have products also free of the major allergens: milk, wheat, soybean, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts.
Zero added sugar products will continue to be popular, especially for those consumers looking to stay healthy or manage blood sugar levels. A big need in 2023 is for companies to create products that taste good and are palatable to remain competitive in this category.
Try an emerging segment: Ketone Esters
Born from the Keto-diet community is consumer’s interest in products that instantly put bodies into ketosis to instantly start digesting and using fat. The biggest challenge remains in taste, trying to mask the flavor as previous attempts have been said to taste like ‘jet fuel’. There is a lot of opportunity in 2023 for a company to create a ketone ester product that is palatable for consumers.