5 Plant-Based Food Trends to Expect in 2021

Some of these food trends may seem like old news to long-time vegans, but are just coming to the forefront for those leaning into plant-based eating. Availability depends on the distribution of products in your area, but starting the conversation about plant-based items at your local bakery, restaurant, or grocer will help stimulate the VegEconomyTM and ultimately provide us all with more options!  Here are 5 vegan food trends to expect in the coming year.

1. Edible Containers

Bread bowls. Ice cream cones. Burritos. Eating your food “vehicle” isn’t a new concept, but few companies have mastered the edible cutlery and plate game to the extent it’s consumed on a mass level. 

Biotrem’s wheat bran-based plate ware is available on Amazon, and caterers or party hosts can impress with edible spoons by Edibles by Jack (among other options).

Based in Indonesia, Evoware has tested seaweed-based packaging as a burger wrapper, and is selling it in small quantities for instant-noodle seasoning sachets and coffee pouches.

2. Vegan Chocolate

We think chocolate should always be vegan, even the “milky” kind. Creating cocoa beans is an art much like coffee, and there’s no good reason dairy or even sugar needs to be in chocolate. Big candy and chocolate companies like Cadbury and Nestle are finally getting on board with plant-based options. 

When in doubt at a store, just look at the ingredients on the back and make sure milk or cream isn’t on the list. If you’re in a natural grocery store, you’ll likely find a vegan alternative to the mainstream—and often super unhealthy—chocolate bars. 

We always recommend that you support your local chocolatiers as much as possible. You can find Sjaak’s in Petaluma, No Whey Chocolate in New Jersey, Lagusta’s Luscious in New Paltz, NY, and Good Girl Chocolate (online) on vKind, just to name a few.

The holidays are coming up soon, so if chocolates are something you usually get for your loved ones, support local businesses with your gifts! 

Don’t like dark chocolate? Experiment with a bunch of brands to find one you like. It’s all in the name of science and health…you need your antioxidants!

3. Vegan “eggs”

Tofu scramble isn’t difficult to make, but it’s only a matter of time before options like JUST Egg and Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg are available in grocery stores as much as vegan cheese is. Bakers can already find Bob’s Red Mill GF Egg Replacer and similar products online or at your local grocery store. 

When these options become more available, it’ll crack an egg-cellent opportunity to move away from real eggs!

4. Faux “chicken”

Faux chick’n options aren’t new—Tofurky offers plenty of frozen products for home cooks, as does Alpha Foods and Nuggs. UK’s Daring Foods launched their products in the USA last year.

We’re still waiting for one solid, reliable brand we’ll be able to buy at all grocery stores, similar to what Beyond Meat did for burger patties, but for now, you can get seitan or similar “drumsticks” at a lot of vegetarian and vegan restaurants across the country, from Fatsquatch PDX in Portland to Veggie Castle in Brooklyn. 

We recommend you ask your local vegan restaurant whether they have or will have some faux chick’n options. As a last resort, you might find options at KFC, A&W, Wendy’s, and soon, McDonald’s.

 

5. Faux “Seafood”

Plant-based seafood hasn’t yet hit the mainstream in a big way, but it will soon. You might have already seen Gardein’s fishless filets or faux shrimp at your local vegan grocer.

Good Catch has faux tuna, Uptons Naturals launched a banana blossom-based fillet, and Kuleana is trying out sashimi. Across the USA, you’ll find Sophie’s Kitchen in Sebastapol, CA, Vegan House in Phoenix, and Jay’s Gourmet in Baltimore, all offering faux seafood. More restaurants are also offering plant-based sushi options too.

While you might not jump to try out ALL of these trends, they’re a good opportunity to support your local restaurants and food manufacturers. Even trying out a McPlant burger tells McDonald’s there are consumers who want more plant-based options. 

On vKind, you can search for more local restaurants, bakeries, and other food companies that’ll be on top of the hottest vegan food trends.

If we’ve missed any trends you thought should be on this list, let us know!

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