4 Key Trends in the Catering Industry for 2023

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Catering Industry for 2023

The catering industry forms a significant part of the economy for most developed countries, especially those that have a heavy reliance on business from the service industry. It is estimated that the catering industry is worth over $154 billion dollars in terms of global annual revenues, and this encompasses a wide range of businesses, from restaurants to wedding venues. The catering industry provides millions of jobs around the world, from highly trained and specialized chefs to finance, marketing, and management staff.

In recent years, the catering industry has gone through a range of changes and developments. There is now a greater public awareness of where food comes from and the associated air miles that some forms of food and drink can accumulate when they are transported from their producing countries. In an age where the threats of climate change and global warming are now becoming a reality, many consumers are seeking assurance that the products they consume are sustainably sourced and have a low carbon footprint in their production and transportation. In this article, four of the key trends that are currently shaping the catering industry in 2023 will be described in detail. 

Covid recovery

The catering industry was heavily affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, when the virus had spread around the world, many governments needed to act quickly to slow the spread of the virus and to safeguard essential health services and prevent them from becoming overloaded with seriously ill patients. You can find a detailed timeline of the spread of the Covid-19 virus and the actions taken by governments on the CDC website.

Many governments decided to implement a system of lockdowns on their populations. This was commonly done at local, regional, and national levels depending on the infection rates in each area. These lockdowns meant that citizens could not leave their homes except for essential reasons, and group meetings in public were forbidden. In short, this was disastrous for many businesses in the catering industry, especially those that relied on receiving customers to their bars and restaurants.

The website robbreport.com stated that 70,000 restaurants in America closed due to the pandemic, and a significant proportion of these closed permanently. However, in 2023, the restrictions that were imposed on populations have been lifted in most countries.

This has allowed the catering industry to recover and enter a phase of new growth now that “business as usual” has resumed in the western world. According to expertmarketresearch.com, the catering industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% from 2023 to 2028. Put simply, this industry is now an extremely lucrative investment option for businesspeople who are looking to set up new catering establishments. 

Companies like Marbled LA, which are adept at adapting to market trends and customer preferences, are well-positioned to capitalize on the growth opportunities in the revitalized catering sector.

Locally sourced ingredients

As previously mentioned, there is a growing public awareness of environmental issues, in particular the effects of climate change and global warming on the planet. In recent years, the world has witnessed increasingly extreme weather patterns which have led to severe storms, flooding and droughts around the globe. Many scientists recognize that humankind’s impact on the natural world is a prime factor in these weather patterns and increases to average global temperatures.

As the public becomes more aware of environmental issues, they are seeking to take steps to minimize their own impacts on climate change and global warming. One way this is being achieved is for consumers to look to purchase sustainably sourced ingredients and foods. These are foods that have not traveled for thousands of miles when being shipped to shops and restaurants, and they involve production methods that do not have a negative impact on the environment. According to cleanlink.com, approximately 80% of American consumers consider the sustainability credentials of a product when making a purchase. For the catering industry this means that offering sustainably sourced products can lead to increased sales and revenue streams. 

Costing every plate 

The catering industry has always been aware of comprehensive costing processes when producing meals in restaurants and other establishments. Put simply; most catering companies will be able to accurately estimate the total cost of every ingredient in their food products and then determine the prices that should be charged per unit to achieve a suitable profit margin. However, in 2023, with prices rising across many commodities and inflation levels being extremely high, there is a greater need to minimize the costs per unit in food production. Many catering companies seek to keep their costs low by buying key ingredients in bulk quantities. For example, key ingredients such as herbs and spices that are available from companies such as Olam Spices can be bought in large quantities and then stored in cool, dry conditions until they are needed in meal production. This can allow catering companies to achieve a lower cost in the production of each dish whilst keeping quality levels high.

The rise of organic food

The global population is becoming increasingly health conscious. Access to global sources of information (largely driven by the exponential growth of the internet) and improved levels of education has led to millions of citizens becoming more aware of best practices in terms of diet and lifestyle. Many consumers now wish to buy food that is free of artificial additives and has not been subjected to the use of artificial chemical fertilizers and pesticides in its cultivation. According to pewresearch.org, most Americans buy organic foods because of their presumed health benefits.

Organic foods tend to be more expensive for the consumer as they are not intensively grown to the same levels of volume as foods that rely on the use of chemicals in their production. However, the emerging cost of living crisis may eventually influence the spending power of middle income households that occasionally buy organic produce. Whilst organic food sales have risen in the past five years, the medium term outlook looks uncertain. High basic food prices combined with high levels of inflation may lead to a reduction in demand for premium organic produce in the second half of this decade. This may lead to meals made from organic ingredients only being produced in the most premium of restaurants and eating establishments.