2023 Nutrition Trends

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Plant-based diets, personalized nutrition, functional foods, and digestive health are key to success in 2023.

The way we look, feel, and perform every day is related to our diet—which is exactly why consumers are starting to think of health and wellness more holistically. Most of us want to improve these aspects of our lives and are recognizing the role that good nutrition plays. With the new year approaching, here are some nutrition trends to take note of for 2023.

Plant-Based Eating: Addressing Both Sustainability and Food Waste

Whether the diet you choose is vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian, plant-based eating isn’t going out of style any time soon. Plant-based diets are nothing new, but more and more products are becoming mainstream to appeal to those who recognize the benefits of going plant-based not only for the body but for health of the planet.

Plant foods are nutrient-dense, which means they provide an abundance of nutrients relative to their calorie cost. Fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are terrific sources of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and they’re naturally cholesterol-free. Most also contribute a fair amount of fiber, which helps to improve gut health to keep your digestive tract running smoothly, which can support immunity and reduce inflammation.

In addition to seeking the positive health effects of plant-based eating, consumers are including more plant foods in their diet due to concerns for the environment and our food systems. According to an Oxford University study, eating meat produces twice as many dietary greenhouse gas emissions per day as eating a plant-based diet does, and consumers are becoming more aware of the role their food choices can play in protecting the environment.

Studies show that raising plant foods uses fewer natural resources and is less taxing on the environment than raising animals for food. If consumer trends continue towards more plant-based foods, they can have a significant impact on reducing deforestation, soil degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with meat production.


Consumers are moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to managing their diet goals. Personalized or precision nutrition—which utilizes diet and lifestyle as well as individual biomarkers to craft healthy dietary suggestions more relevant to the individual—continues to gain popularity.

The global personalized-nutrition market was valued at $14 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $37 billion by 2030—almost three times the size of the market in 2021, research says. This phenomenon is particularly attracting millennial and Gen Z consumers, of whom 49% and 37%, respectively, expressed a strong preference for products, services, or apps that leverage personal data to personalize the consumer experience, according to McKinsey data.

Several factors determine how one’s diet can be personalized. As various forms of personalized assessment become more widespread, we can obtain more information about ourselves that can be used to customize our diets to improve health or meet specific goals. How much you exercise, how much and what you eat, as well as your age are contributing factors. But we are now also able to determine individual responses to certain dietary components, and this information can be used for a more tailored approach.

Double-Duty Nutrition

Another trend we’re seeing is growing demand for products and food items that target multiple dimensions of wellness. Consumers are becoming savvier about nutrition and, in turn, more proactive in their healthcare, so they are looking for ways to boost their health through functional foods—foods which offer benefits beyond simply their nutritional value. Nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are considered functional foods, but functional foods can also be those that are fortified with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, probiotics, or fiber.

As an example, today’s consumers are looking for products that support both physical and mental health challenges. This includes items like herbal teas that offer great flavor but may also have calming affects or promote better sleep. Collagen is a very popular ingredient that is making its way into many functional foods and is known to support bone health while also aiding outer appearance of hair, skin, and nails.

Gut-Friendly Foods

Consumer interest in fueling a healthy gut microbiome will continue to escalate in 2023. A diet rich in prebiotic fibers helps promote the growth of good bacteria (probiotics) in the digestive tract and helps promote the proper balance of microbiota in the system. Considering that most Americans eat less than half of the recommended 25-38 grams of fiber per day, including plenty of higher-fiber foods (and supplements, if necessary) can provide a wealth of benefits. Probiotics are found naturally in foods like yogurt, kefir, tempeh, miso, and fermented pickled veggies, but they are also much more prominent than ever in a variety of functional foods and supplements.

Expect to see more and more products with both prebiotics and probiotics in the marketplace, and an increasing range of probiotics to address specific health concerns.

Additionally, expect to see more products for specific digestive issues—for example, even more gluten-free products than ever before, and products designated as appropriate for a low-FODMAP plan.

Gluten is a protein found primarily in wheat but also found in barley, rye, and wheat relatives (such as spelt). Individuals with diagnosed gluten intolerance (celiac disease) must avoid all gluten; however, many people also seek out gluten-free foods to reduce their grain intake, since gluten serves as a “marker” for wheat—the primary source of grain in the U.S. diet.

A low-FODMAP diet is often recommended for individuals who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome—the most common digestive disorder in the U.S., which can cause stomach pain and bloating. FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols” and refers to certain carbohydrates that are difficult for many to digest. As a result, these compounds are broken down by the gut bacteria, releasing gas in the process. The low-FODMAP diet is quite restrictive, but food products with low-FODMAP designations are making their way to store shelves, making the diet easier to manage.

Gut-friendly diets are also growing in popularity because of the effects a healthy microbiome has on brain overall health. Our brains and digestive tracts are in constant communication with one another. In fact, evidence suggests that when the microbiome interacts with the central nervous system, brain chemistry is regulated and influences the neuroendocrine systems associated with stress response, anxiety, and memory function. Experts also agree that not only is our brain “aware” of our gut microbes, but these bacteria can influence our perception of the world and alter our behavior, suggesting that the healthier we eat, the better our mental state.

About the Author

Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND, is the senior director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition.