What’s next for veganism?
Predicting trends has always been challenging, even more so when a global pandemic is in the mix. However, despite the turmoil that many industries face, the vegan food industry seems to have thrived.
Veganism, which was once dismissed as just another fad diet trend, has surged in popularity amidst the pandemic and has reached an all-time high this year according to Google Trends data (even surpassing its previous record in 2019). Google searches for “vegan” is now twice as popular as it was in 2015.
One of the reasons for its successful entrance to the mainstream is that vegan food is closely associated with numerous health benefits. It can even be said that the vegan industry has benefited from the pandemic because more people are becoming increasingly aware of the link between food and health.
Furthermore, veganism also taps into the eco-conscious state of the consumer market and the progressive movement towards a greener way of life. People are no longer only curious about veganism; Google trend shows there is a clear intent among consumers to eat vegan (i.e. high volume of searches for “vegan recipes” or “vegan restaurants near me”).
2020 has been the year for “fake meat”. Products like the Beyond Meat and other plant-based mean alternatives have become very popular. From carrot “bacon”, celeriac “ham”, watermelon “tuna”, we may see more mock-meat products being launched which are specifically tailored to consumers looking for healthier, more sustainable meat alternatives that cook, look and taste like the real thing.
So, what’s in for Veganism in 2021 and beyond?
“Fake meat” will continue to shine
Plant-based proteins and meat-alternatives have grown at an impressive rate (expected to exceed more than 1.2 billion euros by 2025).
The success of “fake meat” stems from the fact that they taste familiar to consumers who are trying to go vegan for the first time. It makes the transition to veganism easier & smoother.
Additionally, consumers are increasingly on the hunt for vegan fish substitutes as this remains the only real gap in the current market. Expect to see even more “fake seafood” products to launch in 2021.
Dairy-free doesn’t have to be flavour free
Vegan cheese products have been improving in the past couple of years. This product category, which was previously deemed as disappointing, has proven that it can also taste delicious. Oat milk will continue to be the shining star of plant-based milk, especially because it is the greenest choice among other alternatives.
Vegan dessert – why not?
Online searches for “vegan chocolate recipe” increased by 31% in 2020, along with other similar vegan sweet treats – which proves that vegan desserts are also becoming increasingly popular. While it may be easier to find it in specialty stores or restaurants, vegan desserts are still hard to come by in ordinary grocery stores.
This trend will continue to grow in the future since it is not only appealing to dedicated vegans but also to other demographics. Approximately, 65% of people in the world are lactose intolerant. With vegan desserts becoming more widely available in the market, those who are lactose intolerant can also enjoy their desserts.
Going beyond the food industry
Why stop at only food? Veganism encompasses a wider way of living and it will not be a surprise to see vegan spread to other industries.
Early signs have shown that vegan textiles in the fashion industry can be the next big thing. After several years of slowly gaining acceptance and traction, vegan fashion is ready to break through in 2021. There has been a significant capital investment in the vegan fashion world for durable clothing materials made from sustainable sources such as fungi, orange peel, pineapple, cork, coconut, banana, cactus or Kenyan settles.
ADK Insights continuously monitors trends in the food industry and translates its impact on consumer behaviours, providing insights to help businesses future-proof their innovation. To know more about our experience and see what it could mean for your business, please contact Rob.
25 years brand planning and business management experience. Specializes in structuring research insights into clear actionable marketing strategy and brand development opportunities.