As the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way consumers ate and drank, one thing is for certain — plant-based foods have continued to trend.
According to FONA International, a company dedicated to creating and producing flavors for many of the largest food, beverage, and nutritional companies in the world, these foods were trending before Coronavirus and continue to gain momentum.
Plant-based foods, said FONA, satisfy concerns about wellness and also act as comfort foods, creating a balance between indulgence and self-care for those cooking and eating at home more often. FONA noted the popularity of plant-based eating, often associated with improved health and wellness, mirrors the increase in health-oriented lifestyles.
Additionally, the continued growth and experimentation of plant-based foods in a variety of options — such as chocolates, ice creams, meats, and cheeses — will remain present in food trends moving forward.
Additional insights from FONA include:
- Increasingly, the snack category includes an array of plant-based items that lend positive nutritional benefits, such as chickpea puffs or lentils.
- Condiments are getting a refresh as well, with options such as avocado mayo versus classic mayo and queso dip made from cashews in place of cheese.
- Ice cream, too, has been touched by the plant-based demand. Coconut and oat-based frozen desserts remain creamy, have a similar texture to milk-based ice creams, and appeal to ice cream lovers. This represents a hotbed of product development, with opportunities for a host of flavors, flavor combinations, and mix-in ingredients.
- Another form of indulgence comes in the beverage sector. Beyond plant-based milk, plenty of other drinks are enjoyed as a not-guilty pleasure, including juices, smoothies, and shakes, as well as mocktails and cocktails.