In 400 BC, Hippocrates wrote that we should let food be our medicine. Those words are the perfect harbinger for food and wellness trends in the year ahead.
- Apt Adaptogens: Expect to see these helpful herbs showing up in a wide range of foods, from your morning coffee to your afternoon snack, and even in your salt and pepper seasonings. In 2023, you’ll see more branded adaptogen ingredients, like KSM-66 Ashwagandha, that have the clinical results to enable consumer brands to make real health benefit claims around lowering stress and boosting immunity.
- Shroom Boom: We’ll continue to see the rise of the mushroom as a super-ingredient in food and beverages. Depending on how fast states legalize psilocybin, you might even see some magic ones on the shelf.
- Bad Seeds: In 2023, we’ll see increasing clinical evidence that some vegetable oils, in particular seed oils, are bad for human health. Good oils like avocado, olive, and coconut will emerge victorious in this fat fight.
- Sugar Smack: We’re slowly figuring out that sugar is a root cause of multiple chronic diseases. In the coming year, we’ll see the rise of new “rare sugars” like allulose (our favorite). It tastes great, is naturally present in plants like wheat and figs, is low calorie, and has no effect on your blood sugar or insulin levels. The biggest thing holding allulose back has been Whole Foods’ refusal to carry products containing it. Perhaps that will change in 2023 now that the Bezos family has made a large investment in a cereal company that uses allulose and monk fruit as their sweetener stack.
- Plastic Surgery: Brands big and small will work to reduce the amount of virgin plastic in their packaging. We’re already seeing the move to aluminum for beverage containers and this will spread to other product categories. It’s a long journey to the end of plastic, but we’ll definitely make progress in the coming year.
- Carbon Mootral: We’ll begin to see beef and bovine dairy products on shelf with low-carbon labeling, driven by new algae-based feed supplements that dramatically reduce the methane emissions from cows.
- Tele-Healthy: A growing set of direct-to-consumer telehealth startups will emerge, bringing proactive health and wellness options to market. These range from immunotherapy allergy solutions, to GLP-1 agonists for weight loss, to hormone replacement therapies. At scale, telehealth companies will build evidence-based solutions that convince large insurance payers to offer in-network coverage for members.
- Forever Young: Longevity will become more mainstream in 2023. A growing cohort of Americans in their 40s, 50s, and 60s will make real investments in longevity products and services, from nootropics to peptides, finding new ways to add life to their years.
- Mood Food: With mental illness becoming a global crisis, a new mental health intervention will emerge: metabolic psychiatry. In the coming year, we’ll see encouraging research that metabolic interventions like doctor-supervised ketosis can dramatically improve mental health by repairing and re-balancing the energy needed by our brain cells.
- Trip Advisor: We’ll see the next wave of patient results for psychedelic-assisted therapy. Watch for the FDA to formally approve MDMA for the treatment of PTSD. In addition, a growing wave of clinical trials will build the case for the medical use of psilocybin and other neuroplastic molecules.
If you’re building a next generation food and wellness company, we’d love to hear from you. Please reach out to James Joaquin.