If you’ve been thinking about going vegan but have yet to commit, now’s your time to shine—because 2021 is about to get lit up with exciting vegan developments. We all thought 2020—with its Jack in the Box Unchicken Sandwich and its surplus of new vegan cookbooks—was exciting, but just wait until you get a load of these predictions for 2021’s vegan food trends:
Going Vegan to Slow Climate Change and Avoid Pandemics
The two hottest topics of 2020: the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. The one surefire way to help prevent another pandemic and help address the ongoing climate apocalypse is to go vegan. This year has seen a huge spike in interest in vegan foods, and 2021 will undoubtedly see an even bigger upward trend.
Vegan Grub Dominates Fast-Food Chains’ Menus
KFC, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, California Pizza Kitchen, and so many other fast-food and fast-casual restaurant chains found success in 2020 after adding vegan options, which can only mean one thing: The 2021 vegan fast-food scene is going to be off the charts. McDonald’s is already making moves: According to reports, it will begin testing a new McPlant line of products—developed with help from Beyond Meat—next year.
It’s Time for Vegan Fish and Pork to Shine
Vegan chicken and sausage had big moments in 2020—will 2021 be the year of plant-based pork and fishless fish? It certainly seems that way. Last month, Beyond Meat introduced its new meatless minced “pork” in China—around the same time, the U.K. got its first vegan poke bowl restaurant. For the sake of both fish and pigs, we’re looking forward to seeing these exciting vegan food trends expand to the U.S. and beyond.
Restaurants, Food Brands Take the Vegan Plunge
Rising demand for plant-based food is a strong indication of an exciting trend: Food brands and restaurants are going full-on vegan. MorningStar Farms was ahead of the curve—recognizing that eggs and dairy don’t belong to humans, the grocery store freezer aisle staple began making its transition from vegetarian to vegan in 2019 and plans to complete it by next year. Margo’s Bar + Kitchen in Santa Monica switched to a 100% vegan menu, too, making it even easier for Angelenos and others to make the switch. And as we realize more and more that filthy slaughterhouses and meat markets provide breeding grounds for swine flu, avian flu, SARS, and other diseases, we anticipate that more brands and eateries will take the health and safety of every sentient being on the planet more seriously.
Black-Owned Businesses Rightly Booming
In Black communities around the world, plant-based eating has been a tradition for centuries. But 2020’s social reckoning included a rousing ripple effect: A new generation of Black leaders in the food industry have begun to create real positive changes for animals, customers, and the environment. From new Black-owned restaurants (like Cafe Organix) to expanding Black-owned vegan food brands that deliver right to your door (like PETA Business Friend Maya’s Cookies), so many businesses are proving that being vegan is not a “white thing.”
Changing the ‘Whirled’ Through Food
All the progress mentioned in this post contributes to social justice reform—because speciesism (the belief that all other animal species are inferior to our own) is a social justice issue. But vegan food is helping to stamp out supremacy and spilling over into other forms of discrimination, too. Take Colin Kaepernick’s vegan Ben & Jerry’s collaboration: The new nondairy Change the Whirled flavor is helping to “serve up joy on the journey to justice,” as the vegan activist and free agent NFL quarterback himself states. We’re looking forward to seeing even more delicious, animal-friendly, inclusive foods next year that will help wipe out all forms of prejudice.
The last few years have given us smoked watermelon “ham,” banana peel “pulled pork,” and butternut squash “tuna.” We can’t wait to see how folks transform fruits and vegetables in 2021.
A Wave of New Vegan Egg Options
Follow Your Heart made vegan omelets a breeze with its VeganEgg, Orgran gave us Vegan Easy Egg, and Spero Foods upped every vegan’s breakfast routine with Scramblit. These days, there are practically too many vegan meat and cheese options to count—and we think 2021 will be the year when vegan egg options go even further.
TikTok Becomes a Vegan’s Food Haven
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to stay home and cook, which would have been seriously difficult had it not been for Tabitha Brown, Max La Manna, and the score of other vegan food personalities who have taken over TikTok and all other corners of the internet. We can’t wait to see what plant-based creations all our favorite home-cooking geniuses whip up in 2021.
Vegan Wine That Tells You It’s Vegan Wine
Barnivore has been our best friend for years—when we need to know things like whether Two-Buck Chuck reds are vegan (they are!), the online directory of vegan booze doesn’t let us down. But we predict something new and exciting among 2021’s vegan food trends: clearly labeled vegan wine. Rather than having to whip out your smart phone while perusing the grocery store vino aisle, we predict more wine brands will make things simple with vegan labels.
Make Room for Vegan Milk Chocolate
Vegans have been satisfying their sweet tooth for eons, thanks to dark chocolate. (Cacao is a plant, after all.) However, more recently, candy brands have recognized two important things: Some people prefer milk chocolate, and no one prefers congealed cow secretions. So brands like Enjoy Life, Endangered Species Chocolate, and Trader Joe’s are offering vegan milk chocolate treats. We look forward to seeing more companies give the people what they want: animal-friendly milk chocolate.
Supermarket Bakery Aisles Get Vegan Makeovers
We’ve all been there: You’re scanning your local grocery store’s bakery section, you pick up a box of croissants, you flip the package over to read the ingredients list, and your brow furrows when you see “milk,” “eggs,” or “honey.” But if the latter half of 2020—which gave us vegan croissants, eggless mini muffins, dairy-free pounds cakes, and plant-based celebration cakes available at Whole Foods Markets and Kroger stores alike—is any indication of what to expect, 2021 is going to be heaven for vegan carb lovers.
Vegan Deliveries Can’t Be Stopped
Thanks to Grubhub, Uber Eats, and similar mobile app food delivery services, you can get a vegan Pizza Hut x Beyond Meat pizza delivered straight to your doorstep. In addition, thanks to the growing popularity of vegan meal delivery services like PETA Business Friends Veestro, Purple Carrot, and MamaSezz, you can get healthy heat-and-serve entrées, breakfast meals, and more mailed to your front door, too. As many people in the U.S. continue to work from home because of the pandemic, we have an inkling that ordering from meal-delivery companies will only continue to become more popular.
2021 to Bring Stability (in Drink Form)
Whether you have experienced a power outage, are preparing for an emergency, or only have a mini-fridge, shelf-stable foods can be a godsend. That’s why we’re thrilled to see so many companies offering vegan shelf-stable options, including PETA Business Friend Rise Brewing Co. We’ve been a fan of its oat milk lattes for years, but we’re loving its new products, too—such as the London Fog Nitro Earl Grey Tea. Laird Superfood—another PETA Business Friend—is also coming out with exciting new vegan products. If you’re a fan of the brand’s superfood creamers, just wait until you try the new Chai Instafuel!
More Food and Beverage Companies Listen to PETA, End Animal Tests
PETA’s been on a winning streak persuading major food and beverage companies to end their cruel and pointless experiments on animals, and we anticipate that 2021 vegan food trends will include even more modernization of food-industry testing. (Because no one should ever have to check whether their chocolate was tested on animals.)
The easiest thing to predict about 2021’s vegan food trends: It’ll be easier than ever to go vegan. And as 2020’s pandemic, wildfires, and social reckoning taught us, it’s never been more important to go vegan, either. So get ahead of the curve: Use our helpful resources to help make the transition, connect with one of PETA’s vegan mentors, and order your free vegan starter kit!