Trend Reports Position Honey as ‘Sweetener to Watch’

Honey Variety 2

Honey is making a name for itself in 2023’s trend report listings, as the hot honey trend and global fusion explosions — just to name a few — make their mark in the United States. Further, honey is named as a sweetener to watch in a number of categories.

Even though honey is thousands of years old, the modern take and fresh mentions prove that it is a versatile all-natural sweetener that stands the test of time in a number of ways:

Honey as a Functional Beverage Sweetener

New Hope Network’s “In The Aisle: Beverages on the Front Line of Mental Wellness” named Smootch Blood Orange Grapefruit as a trending innovative functional beverage. Sweetened with clover honey, Blood Orange Grapefruit is made from regeneratively grown whole grain oats and is positioned as a plant-based sports drink full of potassium, zinc and vitamin C.

Honey as a Versatile Ingredient

Honey was named No. 3 on the 2023 Winter Fancy Food Show’s Trendspotter Panel Top 10 List. Adaptogen infusions and forest-grown varietals made honey a star at this year’s show.

Honey as a Hot Trend

Hot honey was mentioned three times in flavor house T. Hasegawa’s 2023 Food and Beverage Flavor Trends Report:

  • 55% of consumers mentioned hot honey as a top interest
  • Hot honey is a top regional and international influence
  • 60% of consumers want to experience spicy honey in 2023

Hot honey has grown more than 53% in consumer interest in the past year, and even more complex combinations with sriracha, habanero and chiles will trend, according to Nutritional Outlook.

Honey as a Better-for-you Sweetener — Even in Confections

Prepared Foods reported that candy that is naturally sweetened is a “key growth area” for 2023, and Candy & Snack named honey as a naturally occurring sweetener flavor trend in 2023 and a real food ingredient that fulfills a sweet craving in a pure form. Honey is a cleaner, more natural way of adding sweetness.

Is honey hot on your product formulation list for 2023? Let us know what you’re planning at [email protected].