The Top 11 Plant-Based Food Trend Predictions for 2018

 

Top 11 Plant-Based Food Trend Predictions for 2018
Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash

Building on the momentum of the last few years where sales of nondairy milk have skyrocketed, vegan startups are running the tech industry, and vegans are taking over the meat industry, it’s safe to say plant-based foods are going to be the hottest food trend for 2018. Not only are they better for our health, the planet, and the animals, but all that good food makes for some seriously creative innovation as well.

After watching the trends in the last few years, we think you’ll be seeing a lot of these hot plant-based food trends in the coming year.

1. Vegan Desserts

Yes, we’ve had vegan donuts around for a while. Cupcakes, too. But with the avalanche of mainstream ice cream brands adding vegan options over this past year, but that’s just the very sweet tip of the dessert iceberg. You can expect the trend to continue as chefs get creative with replacing egg, butter, milk, and cream and explore the deliciousness of the plant kingdom. Better ask Santa to make sure that gym membership is paid up.

2. Plant Protein

Of course plant protein is super hot right now but, it’s only going to get hotter. Look for more creative plant protein offerings from mainstream brands and restaurants featuring the likes of beans and peas, whole grains, and good old-fashioned meat substitutes.

3. Cheese, Please

Domino’s is moving to bring vegan cheese to Australia after success in Israel, and with numerous pizza shops already using vegan cheese in the U.S., be on the lookout for more mainstream offerings upping their vegan cheese choices.

iStock/sbossert

4. Whole Vegetables (Root to Stem)

Whole Foods says this is on trend for the new year and we couldn’t agree more. The simplicity of a whole vegetable is a luxury in its own right. Yes, whole roasted cauliflowers are still on trend, but expect to see whole carrots and stuffed squash and peppers on the menu, too. And be on the lookout for whole baked sweet potatoes and yams (especially the purple ones) as comfort foods get a reboot, too.

5. Vegan Latin

Any vegan living in Los Angeles can tell you that the best food trucks and carts right now are Latin-inspired. From true Mexican to Puerto Rican to El Salvadorian eats and everything in between, you’ll see a whole lot of Latin takes on vegan food from coast to coast. And you’ll want more.

6. Jackfruit Invasion

Grubhub saw a huge spike in jackfruit sales last year, especially on Meatless Mondays. This fruit cooks up like pulled pork and can take on any flavor it’s paired with. Versatile, fun, and delicious, you’ll love this fun vegan staple.

7. Gastropub

Bar food has come a long way from baskets of deep-fried onion rings. And vegans are right on top of the trend, as usual. Not only are pubs getting creative with their late-night menus, but the vegan beer scene is on point, too.

iStock/milkos

8. Better Burgers

And that brings us to the humble, or should we say Impossibly Beyond humble burgers? With Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods in the midst of world domination, you can expect to see these meaty patties all over the place and in numerous interpretations. Enjoy!

9. Vegan Cafeterias

College campuses want healthier options. Hospitals are finally catching on, too. And food service suppliers are embracing the trend, delivering lots of plant-based options to students, staff, and patients. 

10. Wheat’s Triumphant Return

As the paleo trend dies down and science reveals wheat isn’t the enemy we thought it was, wheat will be back on menus in all it’s chewy glory. From crusty fresh breads to stacks of pancakes, piles of noodles, and even the meaty vegan staple, seitan.

11. Vegan ‘Seafood’

Get ready to ride the wave — the vegan wave, that is. 2018 is guaranteed to bring all kinds of creative takes on seafood. From New Wave Foods’ plant-based shrimp to Good Catch Foods’ take on traditional canned tuna, you’re going to be drowning in a sea of sea-free goodness.

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Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.