The shift in consumer eating habits, driven by increased awareness of the climate change, environment, animal welfare activism, and a holistic approach to diets, has resulted in the global rise of veganism. Vegans currently account for 1.1% of the global population, or approximately 88 million people, and the number is expected to grow substantially in the coming years.
More than 700,000 people from 228 countries have officially signed up for Veganuary 2023, in which 400 US businesses are participating, breaking all earlier records. Celebrities, athletes, and major technology companies are all rallying behind the movement to eat more plant-based foods. Vegan diets have been around for a very long time around the world, despite being perceived as a privileged Western movement at times.
When health and well-being became more important, consumers began to reconsider what they ate and their effects on the environment. This was the year that everyone became aware of plant-based eating, and new products such as pizza, lattes, dirty burgers, and bakeries and pastries began to appear on the market.
According to a study conducted by the Good Food Institute, plant-based food sales will outpace overall food sales by 2021. Plant-based alternatives, ranging from vegan meat to vegan milk and cheese, are now available in mainstream grocery stores. Plant-based and dairy-free alternatives already account for 8% of the global “protein foods” market.
Vegans are no longer content with mediocre meals of french fries and side salads. Many vegan food outlets, such as Hart House, Vegan vs Fries, Loving Hut, Flower Burger, PLNT Burger, Veganburg, Blaze Pizza, HipCityVeg, and others, have emerged, expanding vegan food options. Furthermore, popular fast-food chains and restaurants are adding enticing vegan meals to their menus to meet changing consumer demands.
For example, Chick-fil-A and Mickey D’s, two of the largest fast-food restaurants in the United States, are jumping on the plant-based bandwagon, providing dishes that look like chicken but are made without chicken. Burger King began selling its plant-based Impossible Whopper in 2019, while McDonald’s will launch its McPlant burger—developed in collaboration with Beyond Meat—in the United Kingdom in 2021. Even KFC, which is well-known for its chicken offerings, began selling Beyond Meat nuggets in 2022.
According to a Food Labs survey, restaurants that have added vegan food options have seen a 13% increase in customer traffic, and the availability of options has resulted in a 300% increase in vegan food orders. Aramark, a major foodservice provider in the United States, has implemented a vegan culinary training programme to help cooks master plant-based cooking.
Aramark is in charge of the food that is served in schools, hospitals, corporate cafeterias, and other establishments. The action is consistent with the company’s objective of providing more heart-healthy vegan foods.
Vegan burgers, pizzas, and coffee are becoming more popular than ever as more cafes and restaurants establish their business models to not only fit vegan customers but also provide delectable vegan food items. Because of the availability of meat and dairy substitutes, it is now easier for restaurants to serve a variety of vegan cuisines.
Restaurants not only serve vegan dishes, but they also promote an environmentally conscious and sustainable way of life. Restaurants are investing to offer customers an environmentally responsible experience by giving them vegan cuisine options.
The report “Vegan Chocolate Market – Global Industry Size, Share, Trends, Opportunity, and Forecast, 2018-2028F” by TechSci Research The vegan chocolate market is segmented by type (dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate), category (boxed, bars, countlines and Others (Pouches & Bags, etc.), distribution channel (supermarkets/hypermarkets, convenience stores, specialty stores, online, department stores and non-retail), region, and competition.” The increase can be attributed to rising consumer health awareness about the benefits of eating plant-based foods, as well as an increase in food-related allergies.
Thanks to a slew of new vegan cuisine entrepreneurs, the days of vegetarians and vegans getting few food options are long gone. Surging consumer demand for vegan food products has piqued the interest of investors in the sector. There are currently 640 vegan food companies worldwide. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, both based in California, helped popularise vegan burgers and laid the way for related developments such as vegan seafood.
Here are some of the food tech companies revolutionizing the vegan food industry.
- Benson Hill
Benson Hill, a plant-based food ingredient manufacturer based in the United States, provides baked goods, meat extension, sou flour, and other functional alternatives to meat and dairy products. The company creates ingredients with optimised nutrition and flavour by combining AI technologies such as data science and machine learning with biology and genetics. In August 2022, Benson Hill announced a strategic partnership with global nutrition company ADM to diversify its soy ingredients and expand into plant-based savoury, sweet, and dairy items to meet consumers’ evolving needs.
- Eat Just
Eat Just, a food technology company based in the United States, uses cutting-edge technology to produce eggs from mung bean protein isolate. The isolate is blended with expeller-pressed canola oil and carrot and turmeric extracts. Mung beans require 98% less water and 84% less land to produce than traditional chicken eggs. The final product is dairy-free, cholesterol-free, and non-GMO. Eat Just collaborated with Mikey’s and Crepini in 2022 to introduce plant-based breakfast pockets and eggless wraps for customers. In the same year, Eat Just collaborated with Caribou Coffee, one of the largest coffeehouse chains in the United States, to launch its first-ever 100% plant-based menu. Just Egg was named a “People’s Voice Winner” in the Food & Drink category at the 2022 Webby Awards.
In modern life, the eating habits of people have changed tremendously in the USA. People are considering vegan foods like never before and thus it has given rise to food tech companies in the country some extraordinary vegan products that are only meant to entertain their food habits. The trends are showing a high rise in the number of vegan consumers as well as vegan products making companies over the next few years.