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  • Writer's pictureAlexia Saumon

2023 trends to embrace in influence marketing food & beverages industry

Players in the food and beverages vertical have invested heavily in influencer marketing for years. In a highly volatile industry, in which brands are faced with regular shifts in customer needs, tastes, and preferences, brands increasingly use influence marketing as authentic ways to connect with current and potential consumers online. Influence marketing in the food and beverages industry encompasses many players and stakeholders. Indeed, influencers in this vertical can promote restaurants, cafés, bars, bakeries, food, and beverages product brands, marketplaces, grocery stores, or even food delivery platforms. With 85% of consumers reporting that user-generated content (UGC) is more influential than branded ones, brands that include influence marketing in their strategies report successful outcomes, to say the least. Indeed, influence marketing generates an average of $6.50 increase in revenue for each dollar invested, as well as a 7.35% engagement rate - 5x better than regular paid media. Overall, with fast-moving consumer goods brands spending an average of $22,000 per year on influence marketing, there is no need to prove its effectiveness. Instead, let’s take a look at the upcoming 2023 trends in the food & beverages industry, and how could brands adapt their influence marketing strategies accordingly.

1. Redefining value & affordable nutrition

In the midst of global inflation and rising food prices, consumers are looking for affordable alternatives. It has been reported that consumer interest for affordability has risen by 70% in 2022. They will be switching to simpler but nutritious meals, reducing the number of ingredients required. Symptomatic behaviors include purchasing in bulk, increasing the purchase of private label brands, meal planning, and buying fewer items. Consumers are increasingly looking into reducing food waste. As a result, they are increasingly upcycling and recycling to minimize both costs and environmental impact.

Influence marketing could help brands connect with their consumers by putting strategies in line with customer preferences and current needs. Examples include working with budget-friendly influencers, creating tasty recipes with fewer ingredients, or meal-prepping videos and inspiration.

2. Younger generations driving the food industry

Younger consumers, Gen Z, and millennials are driving trends in the food and beverage industry. They are looking for novel and innovative flavors. They like to embrace the new and the different, and share these findings with their friends and audiences online. Younger consumers are also shifting away from the diet culture to functional wellness such as immune-boosting products, protein-focused diets, or food that promotes mental and brain health. Driven by tremendous innovation in the food and beverages industry, we will increasingly see an increase in products that are both tasty & appealing and healthy.

Influence marketing could help brands put forward their new flavors and innovations online, by working with influencers who like to get out of their comfort zones to try new things, and share their impressions with their audiences.

3. Plant-based & green gastronomy

Plant-based alternatives will continue to gain traction in 2023. In fact, a survey conducted by Innova reported that two third of consumers would like to try plant-based versions of traditional cuisine. As a result, brands will expand their product lines, by offering higher quality and texture plant-based products, as well as ready-to-eat meals, and meal kits. Plant-based products will continue their expansion beyond meat and burgers, including chicken, seafood, and alternative dairy products. As of today, the hashtag #plantbased has 40M mentions on Instagram, while #vegan has more than 124M on Instagram. Undoubtedly, it is a right time to enter the plant-based industry and lifestyle.

Influencer marketing could help promote these new products by working with plant-based, health-minded influencers, that could, for example, create a full high-end meal for their friends or family using only plant-based ingredients.

4. THC and CBD culinary products

With the increased legalization of THC in North America, we are witnessing a rise in CBD and THC-made products. CBD is reported to provide users with a sudden boost of energy, and an increase in focus and alertness. Main players in the food industry such as Nestle, Kraft Heinz, and Molson Coors have expanded their product lines to include THC/CBD-related products. Research and Markets report that the cannabis food and beverage market is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 15% over the next five years. Increasingly, the components are included in largely consumed products such as olive oil, honey, chili oil, pasta, and apple cider vinegar. As a result, the amount of cannabis-related cookbooks is increasing in North America.

Influence marketing could help in vulgarizing the benefits of using cannabis-made products, by educating followers on their components, and their use in the food and beverage industry. Clark Influence has the expertise to deal with controversial products and subjects, and will undoubtedly be able to put forward your brand and product’s benefits to your desired audience.

5. Less Salt

In North America, the consumption of salt has been high above the recommendations for years. In 2021, the U.S. FDA released a long-awaited sodium-reduction target for processed, packaged and prepared foods to help reduce the amount of sodium consumed by 12%. Doctors and specialists have been warning about the dangers related to the overconsumption of salt - hypertension, heart attacks, and stroke. It has been especially worrying in children aged 2 to 13 years old, who consume almost 50% more sodium than they should. Most of the sodium comes from packaged, prepared, and restaurant foods. As a result, the main players in the food industry have launched or are in the process of reformulating their products or launching different versions of their initial ones.

Influence marketing could help these brands create awareness of these new products, by working with family-oriented influencers or mothers that are concerned about their children’s health and wellness.

As brands operating in the FMCG and food and beverages industry, we won’t teach you anything by telling you that trends in these industries are short-lived and volatile. As a result, influence marketing could help your brand capitalize on these trends while they are still relevant.

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