Whole Foods predicts plant-based trends for summer
Gourmet cheese alternatives and on-the-go, kids-sized snacks are among the trends on tap for this summer
Canadian Grocer staff
Plant-based foods continue to grow in popularity and Whole Foods Market is calling out the trends it says are going to takeover backyard barbecues and picnic baskets this summer.
The Amazon-owned grocery retailer has been predicting food and beverage trends for the past six years, but has turned its focus to plant-based products in particular as brands continue to innovate in the space and a growing number of consumers purchase them. In fact, according to a recent study by The Hartman Group, nearly half (48%) of consumers look for products labelled as “plant-based.”
“Plant-based is the grocery category to watch right now as brands continue to innovate by using new ingredients and processes that make plant-based products exciting for shoppers,” said Parker Brody, senior global category merchant for plant-based at Whole Foods Market, in a press release.
For its summer predictions, Whole Foods’ Trends Council “pooled members’ industry knowledge, product-sourcing expertise and hands-on work with emerging and existing plant-forward brands to inform the predictions,” according to the grocer.
Here’s a look at the top five plant-based trends for summer:
Alternative cheeses go gourmet. Vegan cheesemakers are using nut-based milks, ingredients such as black garlic truffle, and replicating the methods used to make dairy cheeses for more authentic textures and flavours.
BBQ for all (yes, even vegans). When it comes to grilling, plant-based products extend beyond the veggie burger to include vegan hot dogs, Italian-style sausages and even jackfruit BBQ.
Pint-sized and plant-based. Brands are now catering to kids with such plant-based products as nuggets, yogurt tubes and ice pops. Oh, and they’re superhero themed!
Plant-based catch of the day. A new wave of seafood substitutes has hit store shelves. Think alternative fish sticks and no-tuna sandwiches. Ingredients such as legumes and banana blossoms are being used to mimic the flaky texture of the real thing.
Dairy-free dips in disguise. Buttery-smooth, spreadable dips and cream cheese alternatives are available in traditionally milky flavours such as French onion, ranch and queso. And they’re not just for dipping. They can be used to spread on bagels, sandwiches or a crusty loaf of French bread.