Plant-based: Veganism dominates new food trend charts for 2018

The vegan boom is well under way, with vegan options making their way out of speciality health stores and into major supermarkets and corner stores. 

Veganism is on the rise, as consumers eschew eggs, dairy and meat in favour of mycoprotein and coconut-based substitutes. 

The lifestyle has been named on many of the food trend lists for 2018, as the food industry responds to the demands for more mainstream options sans animal by-products. 

For those not in the know, a vegan diet eliminates all animal-based items from the menu – so that's no eggs, dairy, honey or meat. 

Instead, the vegan concept focuses on running a healthy body on a cruelty-free and sustainable plant-based diet. 

'Brands should also expect to feel more pressure to develop vegan options,' says Toronto-based food agency THP.

While veganism was already on the rise in 2017, the food industry should see a further increase in interest in the vegan lifestyle, judging by the frequency of the appearance of veganism on these trend lists. 

'Already proven to be a major hit in 2017 with the increased availability and variety of vegetarian and vegan meal options in restaurants, diners are slowly embracing animal-free diets as a health-conscious effort,' says  International Taste Solution, after placing veganism third on their food trend list. 

More and more, people are choosing to fulfil their protein and nutritional needs without animal-derived products.

'The demand for high-protein foods continues, and with more of us choosing a flexitarian diet it’s no wonder there’s such a buzz around new plant-based proteins,' according to UK supermarket chain Waitrose.

'Whether with pulses, shoots, grains, seeds, soy or even algae, everyone from tiny start-up companies to big brands is looking for clever new ways to add a protein punch.'

Flexitarianism, a key food trend in 2017, is also set to see a spike in 2018.

This method of eating involves eating a mostly, but not strictly, vegan or vegetarian diet, such as being veggie all week and then indulging in a dairy and meat-based meal on the weekends.