McMillanDoolittle logo
Hoka shoes
Image Source: Instagram

McMillanDoolittle POV – What Categories and Brands Will Trend in 2023

As always, our team is here to help you understand the leading trends shaping retail, breakout brands across categories, and white space opportunities to catalyze your company’s growth.  With 2022 coming to a close, we are taking a break from our typical content to highlight 12 trending product categories – and standout brands hand-picked by our McMillanDoolittle staff that are worth watching in 2023.  See a roundup of our team’s favorite brands to watch (and shop) across 12 buzzing categories below.

1. Cool Comfort Footwear

Hoka, Lululemon, Crocs, and On made tremendous waves in the footwear industry in 2022, and many of these brands have exciting new lines or partnerships coming for 2023. The Hoka Clifton 8 is our favorite pair for walking and running – they might even help inspire more trips to the gym in the New Year.

2. Hot Food Experience Brands

For our fellow local Chicagoans, we highlight Dom’s Kitchen & Market – one of the best retail experiences Chicago has to offer. The brand opened their second store in the Old Town neighborhood this year. The store is a foodie’s paradise, offering globally inspired, locally sourced groceries and prepared foods, complete with a lively café and bar (check out our photo and video tour here). Joseph’s Classic Market in Florida offers a similar, memorable grocery retail experience.

3. Next Gen Wearables

Wearables from brands Lumen, WHOOP, ŌURA and Oculus made excellent gifts for fitness lovers and gamers alike this holiday season.

ŌURA rings

Photo Credit: ŌURA

4. Trending Treats

Have you tried the $17 “Hailey Bieber Smoothie” from LA-based luxury supermarket Erewhon? Or what about the Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp that Gen Z and Millennial favored convenience store Foxtrot carries? These fun products are among the many trending food items that we just had to test this year.  Round out the festive season by adding edible glitter to your cocktails from Fancy Sprinkles and indulge with vegan, gluten-free morsels from Deux.

Hailey Bieber Smoothie

Photo Credit: Brightly

5. Luxury for Less

Looking for high-quality clothing and accessories sold at a more affordable price point? Brands Quince and Few Moda will deliver.

Few Moda dress

Photo Credit: Few Moda

6. Science-Backed Skincare

As self-care continued to trend in 2022, we took notice of skincare brands Youth to the People, Good Science Beauty, Augustinus Bader, and TULA. These companies focus on communicating the science behind the ingredients they use.


Photo Credit: Good Science Beauty Instagram

7. Top Learning Toys

Fat Brain Toys, Magna-Tiles, Ann Williams by PlayMonster, and Abacus Brands offer educational toys that don’t sacrifice fun. They have great gifts for kids of all ages!

learning toys

Photo Credit: Fat Brain Toys

8. Retailers Featuring BIPOC-Owned Brands

Target, Ulta, Nordstrom, and Walmart featured a variety of BIPOC-owned brands this year. Some of our favorites include skincare brand Hero Cosmetics (try their AHA Brave Body Mineral Melt!), Elaluz by influencer Camila Coelho, Fear of God Essentials, and Kindred Paper Co. (they have the cutest greeting cards).

bipoc brand


9. Fashion Moves Forward

Brands Off-White, KidSuper, Aimé Leon Dore, and SKIMS are making waves in the fashion industry. SKIMS stands for its focus on inclusivity in the sizes and fabric shades offered.

modeling Off-White

Photo Credit: Off-White

10. Beyond B Corporation

Hobby Lobby, Patagonia, and Ben & Jerry’s have embedded activism into the core values of their company and have committed to make lasting, positive contributions to communities and the environment. We covered Patagonia’s groundbreaking development earlier this year – founder Yvon Chouinard’s transfer of full company ownership to a trust and non-profit organization (read on here).

Yvon Chouinard

Photo Credit: Patagonia

11. Men’s Self Care

Baxter of California, hims, and Lumin are a few of the brands trending in Men’s grooming. Hims stands out for its focus on the functional benefits of their projects. Their offering can help solve for hair loss, anxiety and depression, erectile disfunction, and more.

hims products

Photo Credit: hims

12. Lose the Booze

Many non-alcoholic beverage brands are ripe for growth in 2023 due to the rise of the mocktail. We will be prepping for ‘dry January’ with Lyre’s, Boisson, Kine Euphorics, and Ghia.

Ghia products

Photo Credit: Ghia

To see our full list of ‘Brands to Watch’ in 2023, check out the highlight we created on our Instagram profile. To learn more about the variety of services we offer, ranging from strategic planning to digital transformation, consumer insights and more, contact us. If you’re interested in staying up to date on our latest retail insights, follow us on LinkedIn.

Note: McMillanDoolittle is not collecting any commissions from the links provided above.

Ava Buechel

Ava provides market and consumer research, planning, and analysis support for McMillanDoolittle retail consulting projects. Her experience in marketing, digital transformation, brand strategy, and retail innovation brings an updated perspective in the fast-paced business climate of today.

No Comments

Post a Comment