Offer and demand for plant-based food is growing rapidly and exponentially and 2022 will see this market grow even further. Whilst almost all types of food are available in vegan form these days, there are still some areas that need further research and development, such as fish and cheese alternatives. This coming year more proteins from vegetables to be used in plant-based meat alternatives will be making an appearance. Keep an eye on cabbage and potatoes. And there’s more. Find out below which plant-based food trends and innovations will be big in 2022.
New proteins from vegetables
Soy, peas and beans are widely used as the main proteins in plant-based meat, but food companies are working towards extracting proteins from other vegetables too.
Potato supplier Branston announced in July that it was building a £6 million facility to extract protein from potatoes to be used in plant-based, vegetarian, clean-label and starch-based products for other manufacturing applications. The new Potato Protein Extraction Plant is said to be the first of its kind in the UK.
Innovative ingredient company Avebe produces potato starch and protein for the plant-based meat and dairy industry and showcased its products at Food Matters Live. Its potato-based ingredients are 100% vegan, free from allergen labelling and GM-free.
The humble potato has also made an appearance in plant-based milk, with Swedish company Dug launching its potato-based drink in the UK last summer.
Cabbage is also being eyed up for the plant-based protein market. At the end of November, Naylor Farms, one of the largest cabbage growers in Europe, applied for planning permission to build a new processing plant in Lincolnshire, to be used to extract plant-based protein from cabbage.
Plant-based fish and seafood is still in its infancy compared to vegan meat. However, many food companies have recently launched new fish alternatives.
Whilst there are already a few on the market, many are of the breaded variety, such as fillets and goujons.
Dutch company Meatless are working on developments for the plant-based fish market. Good Catch has recently also launched a range of unbreaded vegan fish burgers and crab cakes in Tesco, after launching its plant-based tuna range. Nestlé announced in October the launch of Garden Gourmet Vrimp, a shrimp alternative made from seaweed, peas and konjac root. The food giant previously launched a plant-based tuna alternative, Garden Gourmet Vuna. Japanese company Next Meats also announced that it was launching vegan tuna.
Whilst there are some good and affordable plant-based cheese options, artisanal cheese alternatives made from nuts are still on the expensive side.
A survey on the plant-based food market by Smart Protein found that the sale value of plant-based cheese in the UK was up by 165% in 2020, whilst its volume by 154%. The Netherlands also saw a huge growth in non dairy cheese, whilst in countries such as Denmark, Austria, Poland and Romania, its production, availability and consumption is still in its early stages.
With so many opportunities for growth, 2022 will see more plant-based cheese products on the market. A recent survey by Fact.MR stated that the dairy-free cheese market is expected to be worth around $924.4M this year and $3.9B by 2031.
In the UK Plant-based egg substitutes are few and far between with Orgran No Egg, Free & Easy Free from Vegan Egg Replacer and Follow Your Heart VeganEgg being some of the most popular and easier to find brands. Liquid egg replacer Crackd has just launched in Britain, but popular brands such as Just Egg, are not yet available here.
With a high demand for egg replacers to be used in baking and cooking, this market is likely to grow in 2022, with more product launches and more research and development.
Plant-based confectionery and baked goods
Plant-based confectionary and baked goods are seeing a huge growth. Many supermarkets have launched their own brands of cakes and biscuits. Morrisons V Taste Plant-Based Eating range has several biscuits and cookies, as well as ice-cream, on offer. Vegan croissants are also available these days, as well as cupcakes, cakes, doughnuts, chocolate, ice-cream, puddings, custard, chocolate spreads, fudge and Christmas treats.
With consumers’ love for sweets and baked goods, this market will continue to grow in 2022, with more products and brands being launched on the market.
Find out everything you need to know about the plant-based food market for 2023 in this upcoming Trends Panel: