The UK is the largest consumer and purchaser of plant-based milk, meat, cheese and ready meals in Europe. In fact, 25% of evening meals in the UK are now vegan or vegetarian, and one in three people in the UK have reduced or completely stopped their meat consumption, according to The Vegan Society.
And it seems that major brands are upping their vegan game every single day (we can't keep up!). In the last week alone we've reported that Domino's now has a vegan pepperoni pizza, Philadelphia has a vegan cream cheese alternative, and Krispy Kreme has launched three new vegan doughnuts.
With that in mind, here are some big vegan food trends to expect in 2022...
Yep, soy, almond and oat milk are old hands now in the dairy-free milk world. Now it's time for potato milk, according to Waitrose. Supposedly low in sugar, and saturated fat, it's about to dominate our coffee shops.
Healthier Plant-Based Meats
As plant-based meats have gained popularity in recent years, many have raised concerns that the products are actually pretty unhealthy with high oil, saturated fat and salt content. But, according to Forbes, the industry is working hard to change that including Beyond Meat's 35% less fat burger, and US brand Nowadays launching vegan nuggets with just seven ingredients.
5:2 Veg Diet
Not strictly completely vegan, but five days of veggie and two days of meat eating is a trend that continues to rise. According to research from Waitrose, six months after completing the one-month Veganuary child, 82% of participants maintained a dramatic reduction in their animal product consumption.
Vegan chocolate isn't new, but let's just say the variety hasn't always been... that great. BUT, with the launch of vegan chocolate from the likes of Cadbury, Nestle and Lindt, vegan chocolate is about to take centre stage.
Again, it's not a completely new revelation, but according to Vegan Food & Living, vegan eggs are going to gain popularity, with even more choice in 2022. Yes, the likes of Crack'd liquid egg replacer and OGGS aquafaba have been available in the UK for a while now, but even more is being done in the world of egg-free eggs. In the US, WunderEggs have launched nut-based vegan eggs - the world's first commercially available plant-based boiled egg, and American brand Just Egg are launching in the UK.
The Rise In Mycoprotiens
Mycoprotein is a protein made from a naturally occurring fungus, that are fermented, and turned into a doughy mixture with a meat-like texture. Mycoprotein sounds scary, but if you've eaten something from Quorn, or The Vegetarian Butcher, it's likely you'd have tried it before. And according to Business Insider, we're expected to see more of this in 2022 thanks to its rich nutritional profile, relatively inexpensive production and low environmental impact.
Vegan Fast Food
The fast-food sector has embraced veganism more than ever before. At the end of 2021 McDonald's launched its first-ever McPlant meat-free burger, while KFC's zero chicken vegan burger has been around for a while. But according to Deliveroo, orders for plant-based dishes on their app are up 117% on the previous year (via Big Hospitality). Vegan fast food isn't stopping there. Burger King has announced the launch of vegan nuggets, while Shake Shack's plant-based burger creation is a permanent fixture to its menu across the UK. And let's not forget Nando's FINALLY having a vegan burger!