Colors of the Plant-Based World

Posted May 17, 2022 by Alyssa Stahr

Our lives are truly spiced up with the endless array of flavor combinations in the world, however recent inspiration has certainly stemmed from the longest period of isolation in our lifetimes, and culinary experts and food developers are incorporating what matters most to consumers into menus and retail products. A recent webinar hosted by Food Business News and Exberry, Top 5 Trends: Culinary Inspiration with Plant-Based, took a closer look at five plant-based trends that are currently shaping consumer habits.

It’s an unprecedented time for global food transformation, and the webinar’s speakers, Food Journalist, Cookbook Author and Consultant Jody Eddy and GNT USA Corporate Executive Chef Christina Olivarez, agreed that consumers have never been more focused on food in the plant-based space.

Eddy said that the restaurant footprint grew by 10.1% in 2021, generating approximately $789 billion worldwide. With such a massive global footprint, restaurants are tasked with making sure that both today’s consumers are happy while shaping future trends. The shift to supermarket aisles are certainly inspired by what food and beverage manufacturers themselves are seeing in restaurants. Consumers themselves are interested in transparency, foods that fulfill their spirits, meals that deliver on a desire to experience a more mindful dining experience and of course they want a good time! After such a long period of stress and uncertainty, dining out is a huge return to normalcy.

Consumers are looking for products that move beyond functional aspects of food and want to enjoy products that make them feel comforted and are reminiscent of better days. They’ve never been more dialed into global food trends, according to Eddy, and 61% say they would select a more nutritious menu item compared to two years ago. But, if we’re talking about plant-based items, is it easy being green?

The Plant-Based Phenomenon

Demand for plant-based foods increased by 140% in 2021, with 40% of Americans saying they regularly order plant-based meals. Almost 70% say they regularly seek out new products to try in both restaurants and supermarkets. Restaurants are answering the call with fresh produce and local sourcing from natural farms and smaller portion sizes, and they’re celebrating these menu items instead of adding them as an afterthought. Packaged foods are more all-natural with fewer processed ingredients.

Feeding the Mind

With the increase in mindful eating, products are providing functional superfoods that help consumers operate at an optimal level. Menu items are reflecting growing demand for foods that supercharge the brain and body and reduce stress and anxiety. Fermented foods are a hot item of late in this space.

Modern Nostalgia

This trend is a direct result of the times we’re living in. Sharing meals, reviving old family recipes that give us easy joy and comfort, give us ways to alleviate stress through food. With two-thirds of consumers saying they are more interested in comfort food, this is a trend where we’ll see more growth throughout 2022-2023 and possibly beyond.

Global Adventure

Spice is nice — 42% of consumers say they crave spicy food, and one-third said they want to try new global flavors in 2022. Recipes, colors, aromas and cooking techniques from all over the world are finding their way onto menus and store shelves. Consumers are demanding an elevated experience that isn’t just Euro-centric. 

Positivity and Kindness 

Ending on a positive note, this trend reflects happiness emerging from the darkness of isolation. Investing in the community is huge here, with 92% of restaurant owners committing to greater community engagement in the years to come.

Want to incorporate these trends into your next product offering? Contact Brightly Creative for marketing and product formulation ideas.

Tags: , , ,


Let us know your pursuits. We’ll find the best way to get you there.