Statistics show about 11% of the world is now vegan/vegetarian. More people are deciding to ditch meat, eggs, and dairy for various reasons. This has resulted in some big developments in plant-based products in recent years including the Impossible Burger and other vegan burgers. However, there have been some other game-changing products during the past year that are definitely worth noting. Some of the products are plant-based foods that are copycat meat, egg, and dairy. Others are more traditional vegetarian food like canned crisps.
Vegan food makers have launched a wide array of new and exciting products during the past year. They include ones like bacon ships, deli slices, and even nut butter-covered nuts. Some products have actually become vegan by simply ditching one ingredient like eggs. This allows shoppers to go with some basics like soy milk, or some more game-changing options like protein proliferate. The industry of plant-based food is expanding, which has increased produced more products and competition. Other factors like climate change awareness have also connected global warming to vegan diets. Yet regardless of why someone becomes vegan, they have more choices today in terms of store-bought food.
Top Vegan Trends
Modern veganism started in 1944 when British animal rights activist Donald Watson founded the Vegan Society. It was launched after he met some vegetarians who didn’t consume dairy products.
Interestingly one group had to pick a term that was shorter than “non-dairy vegetarians.” Some of the other options were “dairy ban”. Watson later explained the term was picked because it contained the first three and last two letters in “vegetarian.” In 1964 the Vegan Society became officially registered as a charity.
While veganism actually dates back to ancient Indian/Mediterranean societies, it’s been over half a century since the Vegan Society’s founding. Today. Various trends have been shaping the vegan market and resulted in innovations like Beyond Burger.
While vegan by definition is plant-based, certain veggies have been trending during the past year. For example, options like cauliflower rice have been around for a while. However, some trending options include cauliflower smoothies, roasted cauliflower heads, and store-bought cauliflower pizza crust.
Mushrooms grew in popularity during the past year. They include new offerings like mushroom bacon and others that convert the meaty fungi into scallops. You can still go with traditional options like portabella burgers that ditch the traditional wheat-based buns.
Another big trend has been the development of plant-based milk like pea and oat milk. Other options like almond and soy milk are still popular, but others have been trending for various reasons. Pea milk offers 8g of protein/serving and is often considered a “complete protein” since it has all 9 essential amino acids (EAAs).
However, low-carb bread options like Cloud Bread have become less popular among vegans and artisan bread has been front and center during the past year. This has resulted in a wide range of options include sourdough.
Top Vegan Products
1. Vegan Bacon Chips by outstanding Foods
These chips are actually made from meaty mushrooms. They’re also topped with various options like cheddar, BBQ, and Chipotle. This offers different tastes that can be paired with the “bacon” chips. They provide the same smoky/salty goodness of traditional chips with more antioxidants.
2. Almond Dips by New Barn
The offerings include flavors like beet, lemon dill, and habanero (chili pepper). The company recently became fully-vegan.
3. Nut Butter-Covered Nuts by Justin’s
If you’re a fan of chocolate/yogurt-covered trail mix then you’ll likely enjoy this one. You get cashews and almonds covered in cashew and almond nut butter. Nut butter has been trending in recent years with a wide range of options from pecan to pistachio. There’s even PB2 that’s basically ground-up peanuts minus the oil.
4. Deli Slices by Good & Green
This is an interesting one since it’s a copycat of processed meat. The Italian meat company offers several deli meats like vegan prosciutto. It basically takes vegan burgers to the next level since processed meat isn’t “real” meat from the get-go.
5. Vegan Gelato Bars by Revele
If you’re a fan of Italian ice cream then this is a must-try option. It’\s a new brand that features dairy-free gelato bars that are dipped in white/milk chocolate. There’s also yogurt-dipped bars.
6. Hemp Creamer by Elmhurst Milked
You have various options like Hazelnut, Vanilla, and Golden Milk. The hemp-based creamer allows you to enjoy your morning cup of coffee with plant-based creamer. One of the problems with traditional non-dairy creamers is they’re also non-nutrition.
7. Vegan Brie Cheese by Wildbrine
This “cheese” includes cultured cashew to reproduce the funky blue stuff of original brie cheese. There’s no question that it has a unique look and smell even compared to other cheeses. It’s available in three flavors including beet and shitake.
Vegan Industry Outlook: 2020
A new decade is just around the corner, which is big news for vegan markets, manufacturers, and consumers. Whole Foods recently posted its top 2020 food trends to watch for next year. Here are some of the highlights:
While these options aren’t technically vegan they show the plant-based market’s effect on the industry. This includes The Blended Burger Project that includes meat/veggie combos like traditional burgers made with one-quarter mushrooms.
There are other examples of this trend. They include Applegate offering a burger with 30% plant-based ingredients. Lika Plus Burger pairs 75% ground beef with a blend of wheat, barley yeast, mushrooms, and water.
In recent years there’s been a cornucopia of different nuts/seed butters hitting the market. Next year the market will take things to the next level. Products like pumpkin butter and watermelon seed butter will be available year-round. You’ll even see more macadamia and chickpea butters on supermarket shelves.
In the past, soy milk, cheese, and burgers were some of the go-to plant-based options of the market. Experts project many vegan products will actually advertise “no soy” ingredients list.
The new decade will see more blends like mung beans and grains to provide a creamier texture. More plant-based amino acids will be available in vegan protein powders through options like watermelon, avocado, pumpkin, and hemp seeds.
Options like coconut and almond flours have been trending recently for low-carb diets. However, it’s projected that 2020 will see brand new offerings including cauliflower flour. In recent years grain-free flours like tigernut flours have been trending as people look for alternative flours without grains/gluten.
The main takeaway from these trends is a shift towards more plant-based foods in the industry. It’s believed this will have a positive effect not only on people’s diet/health but also on the planet as more consumers start shopping for vegan products.