Some fall traditions never get old: apple picking, eating cider doughnuts and baking pies. But when it comes to your Instagram feed—and your cocktail menu—things are about to get interesting. (And we’re not talking about PSLs, promise.) From sleep-inducing snacks to mustard mania, here are the fall food trends we predict will dominate in 2023.
From Sleep-Inducing Snacks to Mustard Mania, These Food Trends Will be Everywhere in Fall 2023
1. ’90s Cocktails
The Red Bull vodka walked so the espresso martini could run…and the chicken soup martini could, well, perplex us all. Per The New York Times, the ’tini has reached new heights (think Caprese, radish and squid ink iterations of the drink), but if our instincts prove true, we’re about to see even more reimagined ’90s cocktails on menus. We wouldn’t complain about a Cosmo comeback…
2. Mustard Mania
Summer 2022 saw the rise of sweet and spicy flavor combinations (aka “swicy”), but this season’s punchy flavor favorite is a little more familiar. If you’ve been seeing mustard everywhere, you’re not crazy. What started as a questionable TikTok fad (ahem, raw Brussels sprouts dipped in mustard and cottage cheese) has spread to the real world. Are French’s mustard Skittles a sign of what’s to come? Is mustard the new pickles? Only time will tell.
3. Sleepy Snacks
We’re always in search of the elusive full night of zzz’s, and now sleep-inducing snacks are entering the chat. (How kind.) According to Food Dive, food manufacturers are watching the global sleep aids market, which is anticipated to reach a value of $112 million by 2030. For your pantry, that means products like Post’s chamomile- and lavender-infused Sweet Dreams cereal and Nightfood’s “sleep-friendly” cookies and ice cream. Will they lull you to dreamland? No guarantees…but we’ll never say no to a midnight snack.
4. Upcycled Foods
In past years, plant-based innovations have soared, but the next environmentally conscious move will be upcycling (aka making foods out of ingredients that would otherwise be discarded). Brands like Renewal Mill now offer baking mixes and flours made from byproducts of other manufactured foods (think plant-based milk), and Spare Tonic cans its own probiotic bev made with whey (a dairy industry byproduct). According to the Upcycled Food Association, these innovations help offset food waste, a major contributor to landfills, global emissions and climate change. If luck has it, we’ll see this trend extend beyond just this fall.
5. Salty and Crunchy Topple the Charts
The Specialty Food Association noted in its 2023-24 report that last year, salty, crunchy snacks (like chips and pretzels) topped the list of best-selling specialty foods for the first time ever. Per the report, it was also the first specialty category ever to exceed $6 billion in annual sales…which is excellent news for chip lovers, who are bound to see even more innovative products hit shelves. (Rose-flavored crisps? Hot honey chips? Believe it.)
6. Pumpkin (Of Course), But OTT
Whether you love it or hate it (no judgment either way), pumpkin-flavored products are set to return once again this fall. But this year, we predict a few over-the-top twists, like pumpkin-flavored faux “caviar” for topping baked goods and savory dishes alike. (We’re scratching our head too.) It’s currently August and Samuel Adams has already launched a pumpkin beer, so by our estimate, you probably have about two weeks to prepare for the pumpkin-palooza to begin.