Campbell’s 2023 State of the Sides says traditional sides are getting a new twist

Campbell’s 2023 State of the Sides, photo provided by Campbell's
Campbell’s 2023 State of the Sides, photo provided by Campbell's /

While some people might fret over that turkey, the reality is that the plate is overflowing with side dishes. In the Campbell’s 2023 State of the Sides report, the latest food trend in holiday side dishes is one that connects families across the years and brings a new twist to those popular recipes.

Whether it is Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, a celebratory meal brings people together. While some people might lean into traditional offerings, the reality is that others want to bring a new flavor, twist, or update to the plate.

At the same time, people crave those familiar food choices. With 67% of people preferring a side dish to the entrée, certain choices need to be on the table.

According to Campbell’s, the 2023 State of the Sides report said that the most popular side dishes are mashed potatoes, stuffing or dressing, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole. While these ideas might be classics, it does not mean that only grandma’s recipe has to be served.

For example, 66% of respondents said that they use their side dishes to bring part of their cultural heritage to the Thanksgiving table. With that sentiment in mind, it can be easy to update that recipe with a flavorful slant.

Even though no one is saying that they should swap plantains for sweet potatoes, tweaking a few seasons can bring a nod to cultural heritage. That green bean casserole can get a spicy kick. Or, combine that crunchy onion topping with some crispy noodles and a hint of soy for a different approach.

It might not be an authentic cultural side dish, but the flavors are a way to move the conversation in another direction. Sometimes a flavor or an ingredient can be that spark which makes people think about their family and their traditions.

Although looking to the past might be part of some holiday traditions, there is an opportunity to start some new traditions. Friendsgiving celebrations are on the rise. With people from different backgrounds coming to the table, it could be a new way to bring foods, flavors, and stories to the table. The melting pot analogy might sound a little cliché, but the family people choose can come with the benefit of a delicious, varied meal.

Campbell’s 2023 State of the Sides
Campbell’s 2023 State of the Sides, photo provided by Campbell’s /

How is Campbell’s 2023 State of the Sides report influencing a new food offering

While many people are craving side dishes, the Campbell’s 2023 State of the Sides report has influenced a new offering that takes those traditional flavors in a whole new direction. In collaboration with Phillip Ashley Chocolates to offer a Holiday Sides Collection. The six-piece chocolate collection features a sweet twist on some of the most iconic holiday side dishes.

As Marci Raible, Vice President of Integrated Marketing, Campbell’s said, “From Green Bean Casserole to Mac & Cheese, we’re excited for the drop of the new Holiday Sides Collection which highlights the many recipes that feature our iconic can and spark menu inspiration for holiday hosts this season.”

The chocolate collection features the following: Green Bean Casserole, Jalapeño Cheddar Mac & Cheese, Baked Corn Casserole, Hot Honey Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Everything Bagel Mashed Potatoes, and Apple, Fennel & Herb Stuffing. While the names might have people wondering how the chocolate truffle twist could even come to light, the reality is that these truffles need to be tasted.

From the punch of heat in the Jalapeño Cheddar Mac & Cheese to the savory notes in the Everything Bagel Mashed Potatoes, the combinations work. More importantly, they serve as inspiration for other recipes for the season. Why not serve the savory version at the holidays.

For anyone who would like to try the Holiday Sides Collection from Phillip Ashley Chocolates, they will be available starting November 7. A box retails for $35.

This year, do not let the main protein become a stress point for the holiday gathering. As Campbell’s 2023 State of the Sides report shows, everyone is hungry for the side dishes. There better be plenty of room on the table for all the options.

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