With each passing year, the vegan food industry seems to become more exciting, more innovative, and even more mainstream, and 2023 was no exception. Last year, Kraft finally offered a dairy-free version of its iconic blue box mac and cheese, Taco Bell launched vegan nacho sauce, and the American Heart Association gave Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat its seal of approval. I did. These are just a handful of highlights. Here, we look back at some of the most exciting trends of the past year, but of course, we’re also looking ahead to the year ahead. What will 2024 bring? We don’t have a crystal ball, but we think things are about to get even more exciting in the world of vegan food. Once again, get ready to raise the bar.
2023 in Review: 5 Biggest Trends in the Plant-Based Movement
1 More and more young people are choosing plant-based foods
In 2023, more young people are likely to embrace plant-based foods for the sake of the planet and their own health. A survey conducted by OnePoll over the summer found that 77% of young people want to know more about the impact their food choices have on the climate when ordering at a restaurant. This spring, he conducted a groundbreaking study at three universities in the United States that found that when students were given a plant-based option as a default, more than 80% chose it. Another survey conducted in the spring found that only 8% of Gen Zers who are no longer plant-based would refuse to go vegan.
2 The relationship between food and health has become more important
In 2022, vegan non-alcoholic drinks really started to take off as people started choosing low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks for their health. And in 2023, his exploration of health and wellness continued, with a particular focus on food. Living to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones For example, it trended on Netflix because viewers wanted to learn more about the world’s healthiest, longest-living communities. All of its communities follow a primarily plant-based diet.
Several studies also support the idea that plants are best, but one study published in November by Stanford Medicine perhaps received the most mainstream attention. The study, which focused on identical twins, was seen by many as the closest thing to definitive proof that a plant-based diet is one of the healthiest ways to eat. A documentary about this study was released on Netflix on his January 1, 2024.
3 Candy giants take note of vegan hype
What’s life without a little treat once in a while? Thanks to Hershey’s, you can now follow up your veggie-filled Blue Zone-style dinner with a vegan version of the iconic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or a vegan Hershey’s Chocolate His Bar. Both will be available in stores in 2023. “Our purpose is to create better moments for consumers,” a Hershey Company spokesperson told VegNews. “We’re excited to be able to bring that moment even closer to chocolate lovers looking for plant-based alternatives.”
Ellen von Unwerth
Four More and more celebrities are endorsing a plant-based lifestyle
Not everyone likes it, but this is a fact. We live in a world where celebrities such as actors, reality stars, athletes, and musicians are arguably some of the most influential members of society. And in 2023, many decided to throw the weight of their influence behind the vegan movement.
Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner promoted dairy-free Country Croc, and Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker continued their partnership with vegan chicken brand Daring Foods. Sharon Osbourne, Olivia Colman and Emma Thompson are among the celebrities who have backed a successful campaign to add a new category of plant-based food to Prince William’s climate change-focused Earthshot initiative I was inside. And Billie Eilish and Finneas have announced they are opening a new vegan restaurant in Los Angeles. This just scratches the surface. Check out celebrity-focused news stories here.
Five Vegan message hits mainstream media
As mentioned above, plant-based foods and the vegan movement are no longer on the fringes of society. It has been steadily establishing itself in the mainstream over the past few years, but 2023 can be said to be the year when it finally arrives.
In the spring, the world-favorite Sesame Street character Cookie Monster appeared in an ad for California Farms Almond Milk, and Burger King launched a new global vegan chicken TV campaign. Over the summer, Terry Crews’ new creative agency released an ad for its first client, plant-based meat brand Impossible Foods. And in December, a historic vegan commercial was screened ahead of its theatrical release. Wonka, One of the biggest movies of the year.
Vegan food predictions for 2024
Last year set the stage for an even bigger year in 2024. We’re really looking forward to bringing you all the latest news and trends throughout the year. Here we will introduce just a few of what we expect to be many major themes. We don’t know for sure, but we’re ready to bet on an exciting 12 months.
1 Ultra-processed foods are phased out and whole foods are introduced.
Ultra-processed foods will be in the spotlight throughout 2023, with research suggesting hot dogs, crisps and soda are putting our health at risk. However, this topic is sensitive. For example, a bacon sandwich and fries are not the same as canned beans. Although the latter contains far more nutrients, both are considered ultra-processed (read more about these nuances here).
In general, people are responding to the negativity surrounding ultra-processed foods by seeking more plant-based, whole foods. And that’s not a bad thing (read more about the main health benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet here).
This year, shoppers will focus on foods like walnuts, tempeh, beans and buckwheat, according to Whole Foods Market’s 2024 Trends Report. In fact, Cathy Strange, Whole Foods Market’s food culture ambassador, declared: new york times 2024 will be the year of buckwheat.
2 Mushrooms, mushrooms and more mushrooms
I said it last year, and I’ll say it again this year. Mushrooms are having a good time right now. And it’s probably no big surprise that this plant-based staple is going from strength to strength. Not only is it rich in nutrients, it’s versatile, delicious, and has a meat-like texture when cooked without excessive processing. Brands will therefore be keen to use mushrooms in all ways throughout 2024.
“People are discovering mushrooms in every food and beverage category, and product developers are finding ways to weave ancient wisdom into new, craveable food formats,” Whole Foods Market trendspotter Kanta Shelke said in a statement. Probably.”
3 Food (and drinks) are not just about taste, but function as well.
The functional food market has been stagnant for some time, but it is likely to accelerate in earnest in 2024. For example, the popularity of prebiotic sodas is increasing day by day, with brands such as Olipop, Poppi, Hip Pop contributing to the growth of the market. And mushrooms are once again gaining attention not only for their nutrients and meaty texture, but also for their functional benefits. Some studies have shown that fungal varieties such as chaga, cordyceps sinensis, and lion’s mane, which are currently sold as powdered supplements and teas, may help regulate the immune system, fight cancer, and support cognitive performance. It has been shown that there is. Fermented vegan yogurt and functional granola, which are highly praised for their effects on the intestines, are examples of functional foods that may become popular this year.
From seeds to surfing
3 Vegan canned fish gains popularity
The plant-based seafood category continues to grow. In 2023, Australian-born company Boldly debuted the world’s largest vegan seafood selection, and food technology company Oshi announced it had developed a breakthrough vegan salmon for the U.S. restaurant market. In November, a new coalition called Future Ocean Foods was formed by 36 vegan companies to promote sustainable plant-based alternatives to seafood.
Throughout 2024, efforts to overhaul the seafood industry will further intensify. But one subcategory will be particularly large: canned vegan fish. The market is already starting to grow, led by brands like Seed to Surf and Loma Linda, but Whole Foods Market believes more brands will jump on board this year. And the Specialty Food Association (SFA) agrees that more vegan seafood development is possible.
“Historically, this has been a challenge for producers because texture is particularly difficult to imitate,” SFA trendspotter Chara June said in a statement. “But as technology advances, more brands will try their hand at it.”
Five Sustainability is the key word throughout the food industry
For the sake of the planet, sustainability needs to be the biggest trend in food this year. And according to Whole Foods Market, that’s exactly what’s possible. The grocer’s report predicts that water conservation and management, in particular, will become a key focus for brands.
SFA agrees. Trendspotter Jonathan Deutsch said: “Reclaimed, upcycled and sustainable packaging are not just buzzwords, they are keywords in consumers’ quest to eat well while doing good.”
The Sustainable Restaurant Association also predicts that this year we will see an increase in the use of “green kitchen practices” and more sustainability-oriented restaurants. In its 2024 predictions (many of which focus on plant-based ingredients, but not all), the association says more chefs will consider sourcing food from regenerative farms and that they will He noted that he would design the menu “with gender in mind.”