Over the past few years, veganism has only been growing, and as we move into 2019, it’s clear that more and more companies are capitalizing on the popularity of this movement. It’s no longer just a dietary trend—it’s increasingly obvious that a shift towards a plant-based diet is necessary if we want to avert the worst effects of climate change. If we want to create a more sustainable society, we need to rethink our entire food system—and the good news is that every day, more people get on board with this lifestyle.
So, what’s on the vegan menu for 2019? Get ready to have some new plant-based favorites by the end of the year—brands are getting creative, and now, it’s clear that veganism is about compassion and innovation, not restriction.
1. Oat milk
Oat milk has slowly become a favorite of baristas everywhere, and the general public is definitely catching on to this trend. It tastes so delicious in coffee, and while it can be pricey at coffeeshops, it is cheap and easy to make in your own kitchen. If you would rather go the DIY route for plant milks than purchase them at the store, oat milk is the obvious choice. Oat milk has a natural sweetness without adding any refined sugar, and it’s super thick and creamy—expect to see it in coffeeshops and grocery stores everywhere this year. Bonus: as it gets more popular, the price will probably start to drop a bit, too.
Check out our Super Simple 5-Minute DIY Oat Milk recipe!
2. Plant-based seafood substitutes
We’ve got plenty of faux chicken, burgers, and even bacon—but when it comes to plant-based seafood, the options have been lagging behind. Until now, that is. With an increasing awareness of issues like overfishing, more people are opting to leave seafood behind in 2018, and the demand for plant-based alternatives is going up. In 2019, expect more vegan versions of your old favorite seafood dishes to hit grocery store shelves and pop up on restaurant menus. Brands are putting out more vegan shrimp, tuna, crab cakes, fish fillets, and even “fancier” choices like vegan smoked salmon! This is definitely an area for brands to get creative.
We were ahead of the curve with this Vegan Carrot Lox recipe!
3. Low-carb options
Sure, it can seem like the keto community has little overlap with the vegan community, but the truth is that there are plenty of vegans who actually prefer a low-carb diet—or at the very least, who are trying to incorporate more healthy fats into their meals. It seems like the days of fat being demonized are far behind us, and people are more concerned with getting a solid balance of fat, protein, and carbs through whole foods than avoiding any particular macronutrients. Expect to see more companies putting out low-carb, plant based snacks to satisfy the vegan keto niche and appeal to people on low-carb diets who are trying to transition to a more ethical way of eating.
4. Vegan fast food
If you’ve turned to veganism for health reasons, you might not be too interested in trying out any vegan fast food options—but for those of you who came to this lifestyle because of ethical or environmental concerns, it could be fun to indulge once in a while. Recently, Carl’s Jr. just debuted the Beyond Meat burger on their menu, and if sales are high enough, expect other fast food chains to follow suit. Vegan fast food may not fit into a whole foods, plant based diet, but this is actually a welcome development. Many people hesitate to go vegan because they think that it’s going to be too inconvenient, and people who travel often are especially likely to have these concerns. But when affordable chains are offering quick, tasty vegan meals, it shows people that veganism does not have to be restrictive.
5. Mushroom-based snacks
Mushrooms have a natural savory flavor, which makes them the perfect choice for people who recently converted to veganism and are seeking plant based alternatives to their old favorite foods. Mushrooms are such a versatile food—they can be a pizza topping, you can toss them into a pasta dish, you can bake them into a casserole, you can put them on top of a veggie burger, you can turn them into a veggie burger…the list is truly endless. In 2019, expect to see companies use mushrooms to create tasty snacks like vegan “pork rinds” and “bacon chips.” They’re going to be all over the snack aisle.
Which one of these food trends are you excited about?
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Photo: Unsplash; Bella Gadsby; Olivia Parr