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New Veganism

January 2022 | Marketing & Insights

The popularity of the vegetarian and vegan diet has accelerated. Plant-based is the category to watch right now as brands continue to innovate by using new ingredients and processes that make plant-based products exciting for shoppers. This includes elevating vegetables with umami, sweet and smoky flavors, or tapping into the seafood space with vegan seafood textural experiences bursting with unique flavors. In the future, plant-based dishes will be an integral part of every menu.

The concept of gourmet vegan food has gained ground in recent years with many consumers choosing tasty vegan options, even if they aren’t on a vegan diet.

Why it is Interesting

The plant-based food market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.9% from 2020 to 2027.
Research and Markets

Seven in ten U.S. adults have tried a plant-based alternative.

"[Vegan food] is not for vegans only—that would be too tiny of a market. I’ve been in the food industry for 30 years, and I’ve not seen anything like the tectonic change we’re seeing in the market now.”
-Jenny Goldfarb, owner of plant-based Unreal Deli

Artisan Alternatives

Plant-based and vegan substitutes can be artisanal, just like any other meal. Brands and restaurants are elevating the power of plants in fancy, tasty ways.

There are now products aiming to make everyday vegan meals and ingredients just as artisanal and craft as their counterparts. This means rubs meant specifically for veggies and gourmet vegan options on the menu that are equally bursting with flavor.



Decadent Sauce Substitutes

Sauces are often creamy, silky, and decadent. Vegan and plant-based sauces are getting creative by recreating that velvety texture (with non-dairy ingredients like cashew) that is expected to be draped over a pasta, or with a dip.

Brands are bringing plant flavor and texture to life through decadent, creamy sauces. These sauces are just as tasty and can likely compete with non-vegan alternatives due to their richness and flavor profiles.


The Plant is the Star

Plants are becoming the star of meals, not just the sides. Increasingly, restaurants and brands are utilizing plants as the main ingredient and letting them have the spotlight with their flavor, color, and overall presentation.

You don’t always need the hefty meaty burger or the giant ribeye steak to be the star of your plate. Restaurants and brands are making plants the star by having their texture and flavor at the heart of the dish.


Unexpected Milks

Consumers are opting for plant-based milks whether it be for the flavor, health, or environment. Surprising versions are available to suit everyone’s needs, plus are coming from unexpected origins such as potato, avocado and barley.



  • Gourmet artisan alternatives give consumers the opportunity to experiment with upscale vegan food just like they can with non-vegan items. This means introducing decadent flavors like truffles and creating beautiful presentations.
  • Not all sauces have to be cream or milk based. New veganism taps into plant-based sauces that are equally creamy, silky, and full of flavor. These sauces will be seen as a new normal within cooking and purchasing decisions as consumers seek out healthier options for themselves and the Earth.
  • As consumers continue to seek more plant-based and vegan ingredients, so too will the nutrition category keep developing its flavor offerings to complement and elevate those options.

Let’s collaborate on your next vegan product. Contact your McCormick account manager or contact us today.