How To Stock Your Foodservice Business For 2023 Holiday Food Trends

No matter your link in the chain, food trends matter. Providing foodservice businesses with products in 2023 means considering many different media-induced trends, among multiple generational preferences, for various tastes and allergies. During the nostalgic, cozy feelings of the holidays, there are many flavors that appeal to most consumers. Why? Flavors evoke memories. When we smell or taste a certain food, it can instantly transport us back to a specific time and place. This is because our brains associate flavors with memories. For example, the smell of baking cookies may remind you of Christmas, Hanukkah, or other celebrations at your grandmother’s house.

As the holidays near, commercial and non-commercial foodservice spaces are especially looking to capture seasonal and traditional flavors to create a festive atmosphere. No matter if you’re distributing to a cafeteria in an airport, hospital, school, or other event space, certain flavors are always associated with the holidays. For example, pumpkin spice, peppermint bark, and gingerbread are among the top ten holiday flavors. These flavors can help to get people in the holiday spirit or offer comfort while they travel and visit new places.

As a redistributor, Honor Foods plays an important role in the food chain during the holiday season by helping distributors get the products needed to their foodservice customers. Here’s what holiday flavors are trending in 2023, from dairy to pies to condiments and more.

Meats For Holiday Food Trends 2023

The holidays are a time for feasting, and meat dishes are often the centerpiece of menus. Here’s what our research shows will be 2023 Holiday food trends to prepare foodservice business for…

Fill The Fridges With Bacon

Bacon is a popular, indulgent food that is often enjoyed during the holidays. It’s an ingredient that can complete breakfast, elevate dinner, or even pop up in dessert. Many consumers will be looking to order bacon as a treat during any meal. According to a recent survey by the National Pork Board, 63% of Americans said they would eat bacon on Thanksgiving, and 57% of Americans said they would eat bacon on Christmas. Would you rather have a scallop… or a bacon-wrapped scallop? Bacon makes everything better!

plate of bacon wrapped scallops in neat rows on a light colored plate

Bacon is a comfort food, which is what people seek during the hustle of the holidays. A 2022 study by the NPD Group found that breakfast away from home is increasing post-pandemic, “Case shipments of breakfast categories, like bacon, bakery, cereal, coffee, and eggs, grew from 30% to 75% in the quarter ending June versus a year ago,” reports NPD. As the holidays approach, distributors should be checking with their customers on all of these items to plan ahead during the increasingly busy times.

For delicious and satisfying bacon-centric holiday dishes, your foodservice clients can look to add some of these bacon-inspired recipes to their menus:

  • Bacon-wrapped turkey
  • Bacon-wrapped ham
  • Bacon chocolate chip cookies
  • Bacon brownies
  • Bacon stuffing

If you’re a distributor and need to offer more bacon to your clients, Honor Foods has many varieties available with quick delivery schedules. 

Meat Alternatives: Beyond Meat And Impossible Foods

Honor Foods is partnered with leading foodservice companies, such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. This gives distributors access to the latest and trendiest plant-based meat products.

In 2020, a survey by OnePoll revealed that 70% of US households will be serving at least one plant-based dish, and nearly a third will be planning for a family member to eat more plant-based foods this holiday season. Additionally, a study by Nielsen found “More than half (52%) of U.S. consumers are eating more plant-based foods, and they believe it makes them feel healthier.” Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and other meat alternatives are becoming increasingly popular during the holidays as vegetarian and vegan consumers are looking for more sustainable, healthier, and convenient food options.

For foodservice businesses that don’t yet offer meat alternatives for vegetarian clientele, it’s easy to make the swap! Plant-based meat can be used in place of traditional meat burgers and sausages in a variety of holiday dishes, such as ground ‘beef’, ‘chicken’ buffalo dip, and ‘sausage’ and peppers. Vegan diets will also be looking for plant-based milk, which can be used in place of traditional dairy milk in a variety of holiday dishes, such as mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and eggnog.

Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and other meat alternatives that vegetarian and vegan diets are looking for are available to order in the ‘Meats’ category through our online catalog here. 

Festive Flavors For 2023 Holidays

Chicken, beef, and vegetable stock, as well as gravy, are popular to cook with during the holidays for a number of reasons, including flavor, versatility, and sometimes (if we’re lucky) health benefits. Stock, like bone broth, can be high in collagen, which people often seek in brothy soups. On the other end of healthy are the hearty soups that bring comfort during the cold winter months. Cozy foods are often traditional recipes that remind people of home. Mouthwatering dishes for soups, stews, sauces, and gravies you might see on the menu at hospital cafeterias, airport food courts, and school cafeterias include… 

  • Chicken stock can make or break chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie, and chicken and dumplings.
  • Beef stock elevates beef stew, French onion soup, and beef bourguignon.
  • Vegetable stock is used in vegetable soup, vegetarian chili, and mashed potatoes.
  • Gravy is added to mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie, and many hearty sandwiches. 

Foodservice providers following seasonal menus frequently add stock and gravy to their dishes for the rich and flavorful depth the ingredients add to holiday dishes. Chicken, beef, and vegetable stock, as well as gravy, are essential ingredients for your customers to put on their order list. You can fulfill their orders through our online catalog, or sign up to become a distributor with us by clicking the link bellow. 

Something To Drink For The 2023 Holidays 

Hot Cocoa

Christmas drink. Hot chocolate with marshmallow and gingerbread cookies with holiday decorations at white table. Top view with copy space.

It doesn’t need to be dessert time to have this sweet treat! Hot cocoa is a popular drink for those looking to warm up on the inside when it’s chilly on the outside. It’s especially popular anywhere for snow days with kids or those who remain kids at heart. Hot cocoa can be served on its own for something simple, or it can be customized with a variety of toppings such as whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate shavings, and spices. The drink is what you make of it, which lends to its popularity and accommodation for dietary needs. 

In a study done by YouGov, a survey found that “One-third of Americans (34%) select hot chocolate as their top holiday beverage.” Distributors will want to encourage their clients to add hot cocoa to their menu if they haven’t already. Both commercial and non-commercial foodservice businesses find hot cocoa to be a profitable beverage as it’s a relatively inexpensive beverage to make, but it can be sold at a high markup. 

Ensure that your foodservice businesses are ready to meet the demand for hot cocoa during the holidays by looking at the Honor Foods product catalog. 

Finally, Desserts!

The holiday season is a time for feasting, and that includes dessert! Restaurants and cafeterias across the country offer a variety of delicious holiday desserts to satisfy their customers’ sweet tooth, which peaks in the indulgent months of the fall-idays.

The most popular holiday desserts ordered at restaurants are:

  • Pumpkin pie 
  • Pecan pie
  • Cheesecake
  • Chocolate mousse
  • Tiramisu
  • Crème brûlée
  • Gingerbread cookies
  • Sugar cookies
  • Shortbread cookies 

Final Thoughts On Holiday Food Trends 2023

What does all this mean (besides the fact that you’re now hungry)? There are a lot of commercially sized ingredients that foodservice business will be looking for. Sunny Morning, an Honor Foods brand, provides ingredients for food production projects of all sizes. This means large containers of whipped cream, lots of eggs, loads of butter, and other perishables. Perishables can be one of the most challenging ingredients to source this time of year, as demand is high and shipping schedules are booked. As a leading foodservice redistributor for holiday ingredients, Honor Foods can fill those needs quickly. 

If your clients are more into prepped ingredients, the Honor Foods product catalog also has cookie dough, pie filling (think: apple, pumpkin, chocolate, pecan, and much more), pie shells, and other baking ingredients. Whether you have a restaurant baking in-house or an airport making on-the-go meals, Honor Foods and its brands have a lengthy list of necessary ingredients for the holiday flavors 2023!

Understanding trends is important for businesses of all sizes, but it is especially important for foodservice businesses. When dealing with food, there is no putting it on sale a year later. Businesses must find the right numbers to avoid both wasted product and lost profit. As a distributor helping customers to stock the right products and plan their menus, having a redistributor such as Honor Foods that can quickly deliver requested items keeps everyone happy, or should we say ‘jolly’. There’s a lot to juggle during the holiday 2023 season; make it easier with Honor Foods as your partner!


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About Honor Foods

Honor Foods, a Burris Logistics Company, was founded in 1949 as a redistributor of center-of-the-plate foods. Since then, Honor Foods has grown into the Mid-Atlantic region’s premier provider of frozen, refrigerated, dry, and dairy products, representing more than 300 brand-name food suppliers and carrying more than 3,000 in-stock items. Honor Foods brands R.W. Zant and Sunny Morning provide additional beef and dairy expertise on the West Coast and in the southeast. In addition, our exclusive house brands — Colony Lane and Valley Fresh, have a well-earned reputation for top quality and value at competitive prices.

Great products and prices are just part of the Honor Foods value-add. We pride ourselves in having a Team of dedicated professionals who manage each partnership. Our commitment to your business needs is what makes us unique.