Convenience tops the list of trends to keep an eye on in 2023, according to the latest Trendspotter Panel from the New York-based Specialty Food Association.

After honing their skills during stay-at-home mandates, many consumers have ambitions of continuing to cook, but collectively are tired, according to the report.

And people still want restaurant-quality food but without the price tag and the uncertainty associated with supply chain disruption and labor shortage.

“Brands will focus on helping consumers go simple in their preparation and cooking routines, and assure would-be cooks that taking shortcuts is nothing to be ashamed of,” said panel member Melanie Bartelme of Mintel.

The coming year will pave the way for curated meal kits with specialty foods that people can make and serve at home without sacrificing authenticity, convenience, and taste, said another panel member, Corvus Blue LLC’s Kantha Shelke.

Specialty food companies are making it easier for those who want to cook from scratch by cross promoting with the appropriate cooking tools and recipes, according to the report.

“Authors and media personalities are filling the education gap between ready-to-cook food kits and ready-to-eat,” said panel member Jenn de la Vega of Put a Egg On It. “They’re helping create artisanal products plus video tutorials, and cookbooks to go along with it.”

“Specialty food consumers are looking to make their meal prep easy but exciting and that is driving many of this year’s trends regarding convenience, packaging improvements, and global flavors,” said Denise Purcell, SFA’s vice president, resource development. “At the same time, they continue to care about how their food is grown and the health benefits it offers, giving rise to evolving sustainability, plant-based, and better-for-you trends.