The State of Food Gifting 2023: A Delicious Exploration of Current Trends

State of Food Gifting in 2023

In a world where digital connections have increasingly taken over our lives, gift giving remains a personal and cherished tradition. One of the most popular and delightful types of giving is food gifting.

Food gifts hold timeless appeal. Whether a celebration of a special occasion or simply a heartfelt gesture, food gifts are always well appreciated. However, the state of food gifting is constantly evolving, reflecting the changing tastes, preferences, and lifestyles of our world.

In this article, we will explore how food gifting continues to evolve, the most popular types of food gifts, and the influence of healthier eating trends like plant-based and keto diets, as well as more sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

In this article:

Wrapped gift

According to MarketWatch, food gifting is anticipated to rise at a considerable rate in the next few years due to the popularity of the practice itself, as well as innovative strategies developed by key players in the space.

The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021 only served to increase the demand for food gifting, especially those with delivery options. Technology plays a significant role in the transformation of the food gifting space, with online platforms offering more unique experiences and options, such as virtual cooking classes.

In addition, sustainable packaging, eco-friendly sourcing, and organic practices have become a bigger part of the food gifting landscape as consumers seek meaningful and ethical gifts.

Finally, consumers have increasingly been more concerned about the nutritional content and quality of their food, which has sparked companies to provide options that cater to specific dietary requirements, such as plant-based, keto, or gluten free.

Most Popular Types of Food Gifts

Macarons in a gift box

The most popular types of food gifts vary based on personal tastes, the occasion, and many more factors. Some of the popular food items that frequently find their way into gift baskets and boxes include:

1. Chocolate and Candy

Chocolates and sweets are, hands down, one of the most popular types of food gifts. Most people love candy, giving them practically universal appeal. Plus, they come in a wide variety of options with a high capacity for personalization, making them a reliable choice for all occasions.

2. Fruit Baskets

Fresh fruit baskets, such as our Simply Edible™ Bouquet, is a classic gift that pairs an indulgence with a more healthy option. Fruit baskets are often sent during times of illness or recovery, as gestures of well-wishing.

3. Wine and Spirits

Alcoholic beverages, such as wine and champagne, are popular choices for housewarmings, anniversaries, and business celebrations. Though not appropriate for every occasion, these are typically seen as a symbol of refinement.

4. Gourmet Snacks

Gourmet snacks, such as popcorn, nuts, and cheese, have seen a resurgence in popularity. People appreciate the touch of luxury that these snacks provide, along with a sense of comfort and familiarity.

5. Coffee and Tea

High-quality coffee beans and loose-leaf teas cater to a diverse range of preferences. They are perfect for caffeine lovers and are often used as tokens of appreciation or thanks at the workplace.

6. Baked Goods

Artisanal baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, and pastries, hold a special charm. Filled with nostalgia and warmth, they’re ideal gifts for family gatherings and special occasions.

7. Specialty Oils and Sauces

Foodies and home chefs appreciate gifts such as extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, and exotic sauces. These gifts can give their everyday meals a little pizzazz and can inspire culinary adventures.

8. Gift Cards to Restaurants and Food Delivery Services

Gift cards to restaurants or food delivery services like UberEats or Grubhub have gained popularity. They provide convenience and allow recipients to choose exactly what they want, rather than what you choose.

Foods That Aren’t Popular as Gifts

platter of foods

There are certain foods that aren’t quite as popular as others when it comes to gifting. Some less popular food gifts include:

  • Highly Perishable Items: Foods such as fresh dairy products, which have a short shelf life, are not common gift choices due to concerns about safety and food handling.
  • Strongly Scented Foods: Some foods with pungent odors, such as certain cheeses or meats, are an acquired taste and may not be appreciated as gifts by everyone.
  • Customized Diet Foods: Gifting foods tailored to specific diets can be tricky as they may not align with your recipient’s preferences or restrictions.
  • Exotic or Uncommon Ingredients: Gifting exotic or uncommon ingredients may not be the best choice, as the recipient may not know how to use them in their cooking or may have limited interest in experimenting with unfamiliar foods.
  • Overly Spicy or Hot Foods: Foods that are extremely spicy or hot can be challenging for some people to enjoy. Avoid gifting exceptionally spicy foods as not everyone enjoys these flavors.

The Impact of Healthier Eating Trends on Food Gifting

Preparing a mason jar with ingredients for a recipe

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift towards healthier eating. People have become more conscious of their food choices, with a growing emphasis on nutrition, as well as ethical considerations. This has made an impact on food gifting.

1. Plant-Based and Vegan Gifting

The rise of plant-based diets has influenced food gifting. More people are choosing vegan or vegetarian options. As a result, you can find more gift baskets that feature plant-based snacks, dairy alternatives, and gourmet vegan chocolates.

2. Keto and Low-Carb Gifting

The ketogenic (keto) diet, characterized by low carbohydrate and high-fat intake, has gained a massive following. This has given rise for more keto-friendly food gift ideas.

You can find a wide array of keto-friendly gift boxes or even subscription boxes filled with keto-friendly snacks and treats that deliver new goodies to your recipient’s doorstep every month.

3. Organic and Sustainable Gifting

As concerns about sustainability and the environmental impact of food production grow, organic and sustainable food gifting has become popular. Consumers look for gifts that align with their values, which often includes supporting eco-friendly and ethical brands.

4. Gluten Free Gifting

Gluten-free gifting has gained popularity as a thoughtful way to include those with gluten-free dietary restrictions. Often brought about by health conditions like celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, the gluten-free lifestyle has inspired a wide array of gluten-free gift options, from delectable gluten-free baked goods to gourmet snacks.

Companies Leading the Way in Food Gifting Trends

Box of chocolates

Several innovative companies have emerged as leaders in the evolving landscape of food gifting with innovative ideas and food selections. Here are a few noteworthy examples:

1. Edible Arrangements®

Combining the beauty of floral arrangements with appetizing fruits, Edible Arrangements® has carved a unique niche. Our signature fruit bouquets blend creativity and flavor, featuring a variety of fresh, succulent fruits artfully arranged to resemble traditional flower bouquets.

2. Mouth

Mouth curates the best snack and treats from mid-sized artisan food producers. They offer a range of gift boxes organized by occasion, with options for vegans and gluten-free eaters.

3. Goldbelly

Goldbelly offers food from iconic restaurants and food vendors from across the United States. It allows you to send your favorite regional favorites to loved ones across the county, providing a sense of culinary adventure.

4. Thrive Market

Thrive Market is known for offering an array of organic, non-GMO, and sustainable products. They provide gift options that cater to various dietary needs and ethical considerations.

5. Cratejoy

Cratejoy specializes in subscription boxes, including those focused on food and snacks. It features a variety of unique options, including niche gifts like keto snacks, Japanese candies, or hot sauce samplers.

The Future of Food Gifting

Handing a gift to someone over a meal

The future of food gifting promises to be exciting and innovative, driven by evolving consumer preferences and technological advancements. Here are some trends and innovations that we can expect to see in the food gifting space:

1. Personalized AI Recommendations

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will play a much larger role in determining the perfect gift for your recipient. For example, AI algorithms may be able to analyze recipients’ preferences, dietary restrictions, and past choices to recommend the perfect food gift.

2. Virtual Tasting Experiences

Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies will allow for immersive tasting experiences. Recipients can virtually tour a vineyard, chocolate factory, or gourmet kitchen, enhancing the sensory aspect of food gifting.

3. Sustainable Packaging

The demand for eco-friendly and sustainable packaging will continue to grow. Companies will offer more innovative, biodegradable, and reusable packaging solutions for their food gifts to reduce waste and minimize environmental impact.

4. Health-Tracking Food Gifts

Smart food gifts will be able to integrate with health-tracking devices and apps. For instance, a gift box might include snacks that sync with a fitness tracker, providing nutritional information at the click of a button.

5. Culinary Subscription Boxes

Subscription-based services will offer curated culinary experiences. You can send a monthly box to your recipient’s door filled with unique ingredients, recipes, and cooking tips for a unique culinary experience.

6. Cultural Fusion Gifts

As global cuisine continues to influence culinary trends, food gifts that combine flavors and ingredients from different cultures will gain popularity. Expect fusion spice blends, international snack assortments, and cross-cultural gourmet experiences.

7. 3D-Printed Chocolates and Candy

3D printing technology will allow for intricate and customizable chocolate and candy designs. This will offer a new level of personalization in gift-giving. For instance, consider a candy bar that spells out your recipient’s name or a cookie with a picture of her favorite pet.

8. Interactive Food Gifting

Food gifts will also become more interactive with the help of technology. For instance, QR codes on food packaging may enable recipients to access interactive content, such as videos, music, or games, creating a multisensory gifting experience.

9. Food Gifting for a Cause

More companies will align food gifting with social and environmental causes. Purchasing certain food gifts may result in donations to charities or support for sustainable farming practices.

10. Local and Artisanal Focus

The trend of supporting local and artisanal producers will continue to grow. Food gifts will feature products sourced from small-scale venders from nearby regions, celebrating the uniqueness of local flavors.

The world of food gifting is constantly in flux. As consumer’s preferences change and evolve, trends in food gift also evolve. Innovative strategies of key players in the space also continue to push the landscape ahead.

Today, healthier eating trends, such as plant-based and keto diets, continue to gain momentum. Companies have begun specializing in sustainable and dietary-specific gifts, providing consumers with a wide range of food gifts to choose from.

In the future, food gifting will become more impacted by technology and AI, offering even more exciting and innovative food gift options for the people we love.

Frequently Asked Questions about Food Gifting

What are some classic occasions for food gifting?

Food gifting is appropriate for a wide range of occasions. You can choose a food gift for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, weddings, or even baby showers. Additionally, you can also send food gifts as a gesture of sympathy during times of illness or bereavement.

Are there any food gifts that are appreciated by everyone?

Many people appreciate gift baskets, chocolate and candies, fruit and gourmet snacks.. These items appeal to a wide array of tastes and preferences and work well for various occasions.

How can I ensure that my food gift is received well?

When it comes to ensuring a food gift is well-received by your recipient, presentation is key. Additionally, consider your recipient’s dietary restrictions, allergies, and preferences. Finally, add a thoughtful note to enhance the gift-giving experience.

Can food gifting be suitable for corporate or business purposes?

Food is a perfect gift in the corporate world. Consider food options for purposes such as employee recognition, client appreciation, and retirement gifts. Delicious and tasty food can help strengthen business relationships and build employee morale.

Are there cultural considerations when gifting food?

Yes, there are cultural aspects to consider when gifting food. Some cultures have specific customs and taboos related to certain foods or colors. It’s important to be aware of your recipient’s cultural background and preferences when selecting a food gift.