5 Plant-based Foods Trending Right Now

5 Plant-based Foods Trending Right Now

In 2019 the number of New Zealanders eating “meat-free” jumped to 15 per cent according to the Colmar Brunton Better Futures report and the trend is still increasing. With consumers wanting to lower their environmental impact now more than ever, it’s predicted that 2022 will be the biggest year yet for vegan food. Consumers, particularly students and young professionals are rightly concerned about the long-term sustainability of eating meat, the impact of climate change, and issues of animal welfare.

Gone are the days though when vegans were limited to bowls of lentils or nut loaves. The recent proliferation of vegan recipes both in books and on social media means there’s no shortage of inspiring and tasty meal ideas available. And, when combined with fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables, it’s simple to consume a rainbow of nutritious and delicious foods every day. We summarise below an article from Veg News highlighting the major plant-based food trends for 2022.

1. Mushrooms

A nutrient powerhouse that could even lower the risk of depression when consumed regularly. Mushrooms are high in essential nutrients such as selenium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin D, which can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Companies are utilising the magic ingredient in everything from lion’s mane coffee to shiitake vegan jerky.

2. Plant-based chicken

As the race to replace chicken continues, consumers have their pick of plant-based products. Fast-food chain KFC has launched its Beyond Fried Chicken in collaboration with vegan brand Beyond Meat. No word yet of when this might be available in New Zealand. Panda Express, another popular chain known for its chicken, also launched its first vegan menu item made with Beyond Meat. Watch out as more and more food manufacturing businesses are keen to have a slice of the “vegan pie”.

3. Chickpeas

These babies are going off, because… what can’t you make with these humble legumes? There’s classic hummus, unexpectedly delicious brownies, and healthy pizza crust, plus so much more to make with this allergen-friendly food. And as a bonus, the liquid drained from canned chickpeas, known as aquafaba, is a wonderful alternative for vegan cooks. Aquafaba mimics the functioning properties of egg whites, making it useful in meringue-style desserts. A blessing for vegans and for those with egg allergies.

4. Vegan bacon

Move over burgers—is it the year of the vegan bacon? With more brands than ever creating vegan bacon, particularly realistic-looking versions, it’s predicted the demand will only increase from here on in.

5. Alcohol-free tipples

Booze-free is where it’s at as consumers cut back on alcohol, prompting a new wave of non-alcoholic spirits and cocktails. Sales of non-alcoholic beverages are on the up and up and offer a game-changing way to socialize … without the inebriating qualities. Bottoms up!

And finally, don’t forget about New Zealand-grown hemp superfoods. Hemp seeds have a rich nutritional profile containing high levels of antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. Relatively few plant-based foods are complete sources of protein, making hemp seeds a valuable addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet. They’re always on trend!


Changes in the fast-food industry need to be applauded to some degree, but the future of plant-based eating does not ideally lie with takeaways and imitation meat. Most committed vegans won’t be rushing to purchase fake meat in a bun from their local burger joint because at the end of the day, it’s still processed food.

  1. https://vegnews.com/2022/1/top-5-vegan-food-trends-2022
  2. https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-drink/300498792/is-plantbased-fast-food-really-enough-for-vegans
  3. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/123706873/millennials-embracing-plant-based-diets-forcing-restaurants-to-take-notice

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