We saw encouraging, compassionate developments across the food industry in 2017. Not only did Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Häagen-Dazs, and Halo Top release vegan flavors, the Beyond Burger also debuted on restaurant menus and in grocery stores. One trip to the grocery store is enough to exemplify the progress that compassionate food has made, as last year’s vegan food trends have become grocery-store staples. The world is embracing animal rights and waking up to the idea that other animals have an inherent worth—a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans.
2018 is anticipated to be an even bigger year for vegan goodness! Here are our 18 top predictions for next year’s vegan food trends:
1. Plant-Based Poke Bowls
Vegan poke bowls are fun to make because you can “choose your own adventure,” so to speak. Edamame, tempeh, tofu, mushrooms, and nori seaweed are just a few of our favorite ingredients to include. We were thrilled to try meal-delivery service Veestro’s recent collaboration with Ocean Hugger Foods: Its vegan poke bowl features fish-like Ahimi, made from tomatoes.
Bonus: Veestro is a PETA Business Friend and offers 15% off à la carte items when you use the code PETA15 at checkout.
2. Cauliflower Everything
Rice, pizza crust, stuffing, and even “steak” are just some of the cauliflower-based products we’re seeing pop up on store shelves. A couple of our favorite recipes featuring this cruciferous-of-the-moment veggie include vegan cauliflower mash and buffalo wings.
In the same family as ginger, turmeric is said to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and improve brain function. You can incorporate the spice into soups, ciders, bowls, tea, homemade tonics, smoothies, and more.
4. Activated Charcoal
Have you heard of charcoal ice cream? How about a black-charcoal smoothie bowl? In addition to charcoal’s health benefits (it’s said to draw toxins out of the body), it also colors food black. Leave it to creative foodies to grab hold of this idea and start a black food trend.
5. Plant Butcheries
Vegan butchers use compassionate ingredients and techniques to create a variety of vegan meats, including steaks, ribs, cold cuts, sausages, and more. People are loving these shops for their endearing, local feel—and for addressing contemporary concerns about animals, the environment, and personal health.
From meringues and macarons to marshmallows and more, aquafaba can be used to create delicious foods, acting as a binder, leavening agent, and emulsifier. It can do anything that an egg white does—but without the cruelty or cholesterol.
Already being touted as the new “supergrain,” sorghum can be popped like popcorn or used in pilafs, salads, and bowls, among other dishes. Its cane is also made into a syrup-like sweetener.
8. Street Food–Inspired Dishes
The culinarily curious are interested in cuisines from all over the world, and this includes local street foods. These vegan street food recipes are a fun way to enjoy these classic dishes in your home, without the cost of an airplane ticket.
9. Veggie Chips
Despite increased attention to healthful eating, America’s collective snack attack doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. So companies are creating vegetable chips that possess the same irresistible qualities as their potato counterparts but are better for you. It’s super-easy to make your own veggie chips, too.
10. Comfort Food
Sometimes you need a little comfort food to soothe the soul. This list of vegan comfort-food recipes includes lasagna, casseroles, mac ‘n’ cheese, biscuits and gravy, and more.
While pomegranates, blueberries, and açaí berries are well known for their superfruit status, there are some new nutrient-packed fruits on the block: jackfruit, baobab, and dragon fruit. Look for them this coming year in everything from candy and bottled beverages to dietary supplements and desserts.
One of these days—perhaps in 2018—the average person will know how to incorporate flowers into recipes. As we continue to see flowers bloom on restaurant plates and in online recipes, we’re bound to get the hang of it soon.
Whether you prefer ramen, pho, udon, or another noodle-based dish, we predict that vegan noodle spots will be all the rage in 2018. Los Angeles saw the recent openings of Ramen Hood and a second location of vegan Vietnamese restaurant Âu Lạc, indicators that vegan noodle restaurants are a growing trend.
14. Nondairy Milks, Yogurts, Cheeses, and More
You only have to look at the numbers to realize the staggering rate at which nondairy products are becoming an American diet staple. The dairy-alternatives industry is projected to reach $16 billion in the coming year, and we couldn’t be happier to see money diverted from cruel dairy farms.
15. Kind Sweeteners
We think that sweeteners—including coconut sugar, maple syrup, fruit juice, molasses, date sugar, monk fruit sugar, and sorghum (see number 7), among others—will become kitchen-cupboard staples in 2018. Honey is cruelly obtained and unsustainable, and vegan sweeteners are a delicious, modern choice.
16. Rice Protein
Watch out, soy, peas, and grains—rice protein is here! This protein is becoming popular in vegan protein powders and other products, and it’s a good option for those who eat gluten-free.
17. Hidden Vegetables and Fruits
Increasing numbers of people are incorporating veggies and fruits into their children’s or their own meals in covert ways. Spiralized vegetable noodles, cauliflower pizza crust, and smoothies are just a few examples of this growing food trend.
18. Nice Cream
Nice cream is like ice cream’s friendly cousin. It’s a simple and quick way to make a sweet treat at home without investing in store-bought vegan ice cream. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Most nice cream recipes include only a few ingredients, such as frozen bananas and nondairy milk. A blender is required.
Have you been thinking about going vegan? It’s the perfect time to pledge to go vegan for animals, your health, and the environment.