Vegan foods are one of the top 10 trends listed in a major food forecast for 2018.
According to the report, by market research firm Packaged Facts, the vegan label on foods is attractive to vegans and non-vegans alike.
The report says: “Vegan and Non-GMO Are the New Green Badges of Food Formulation Courage.
“With packaged food innovation focused on clean label, vegan and non-GMO have become all-star package callouts, raising the ante on organic and all-natural.
“Vegan is a positive cue even among those who are merely friends of vegetarians or vegans, as has also been the case with gluten-free.”
Of the other nine trends, five feature plant-based foods.
These include cracked black pepper – which is described as ‘the new sea salt’.
The report says: “Peppercorns are eaten cracked, just as salt pretty much comes from the sea, but that’s not the point, especially for mass-market salty snack products.
“Calling out black or cracked pepper in chips and crackers says you’re more than conventionally serious about bringing it with flavor.
“Pepper is also flexing its flavor muscle in artisanal foods, including for dessert.”
Sweet potato is also set to continue its ascent up the food charts.
“Along with dwelling in the inner sanctum of Soul/Southern food and giving potato fries a run for their money, sweet potato has been speaking in many tongues in cheffy restaurants,” the report says.
“Predating Columbus, the sweet potato has always been farm/garden-to-table south of the border, and today’s chefs and specialty food producers are re-connecting the dots.
“Or take another trade route and ply sweet potato with fusion flavorings such as dukkah, miso, paprika, or shishito, or cross the waters to pair with Kabocha squash.
“For a multicultural health halo, pair with blue/purple corn or quinoa, ginger or turmeric.”
The forecast also lists pistachios, figs, and ‘natural colors’ as ones to watch.
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