The year 2020 may be one of the toughest times we have ever had to endure, but amongst the clouds, there is a silver lining.

Data from Chefs Pencil, the Plant Based Foods Association and Happy Cow all found that veganism grew to brand new, record breaking heights this year.

5 Vegan Food Trends to Watch Out For in 2021

In May the Plant Based Foods Association released a report showing that the sales of plant based foods in the United States had increased by 90%.

Following their report, in July, a survey by online vegan restaurant source HappyCow discovered that despite the pandemic, more vegan restaurants had opened than had closed in 2020.

Then most recently, in September, Chefs Pencil compiled a report using Google Trends data to assess the popularity of veganism and found that in 2020, interest in veganism hit an all time high.

Searches for “vegan recipes” or “vegan restaurants near me” surged in popularity in countries including the United Kingdom, Australia and Israel. 

With such a cruelty-free and plant based revolution happening in 2020, the vegan food boom looks set to climb to even more record breaking heights in the New Year. Let’s take a look at some of the things we can expect to see throughout 2021.

Vegan Chicken

Back in 2019, KFC announced that it was going to add a vegan chicken burger option to its fast food menu. The news was met with jubilation from vegan fast food lovers around the world, but nobody could have anticipated just how welcome the change would be.

In January 2020 alone, KFC sold more than one million of their brand new vegan chicken burgers. Soon after, in October 2020, fast food chicken based behemoth Nandos took note and added a vegan chicken option to their menu which also proved hugely popular.

Off of the back of these two chicken based conglomerates successes, brand new restaurants dedicated to vegan chicken have been appearing throughout the UK. Brighton based Really Happy Chicken sold out of their plant based chicken within just hours of opening, so expect this trend to continue rising throughout the year.

And other meat-free mimics!

It’s not just vegan chicken on the rise. Supermarket giant Tesco reported that meat alternatives are seeing a growth rate of 257%, and the entire market is predicted to exceed £1.1bn in revenue by 2024. 

Most recently a recipe for a mushroom based Maitake Rack of Ribs surged in popularity, causing other mushroom based meals like Mushroom Stroganoff to receive a 100% increase in views and clicks. 

Tesco itself is already planning to expand its vegan range even further going into 2021 as it desperately tries to plug a gap in the market: Vegan fish substitutes. It’s planning on launching Plant Chef Fish Free Cakes some point in mid 2021.

Vegan Cheeses

In April 2020 in Brixton, South London, the UK saw its very first vegan cheesemonger open its doors. La Fauxmagerie makes its artisan cheese from plant based ingredients like coconut oil and blended cashews, and before it could even open its doors for the first time it had amassed a queue of people. 

With dairy-free alternatives on the rise due to dietary restrictions and surging popularity in veganism, vegan cheese looks set to expand into a variety of different flavours. Oat milk especially is already tipped to become the beacon of dairy alternative with its sales predicted to surge in 2021.

Vegan Centrepieces

Tesco’s 2020 Christmas Report revealed that for the first time ever, vegetarian and vegan centrepieces will take centre stage in Christmas Day dinners ahead of roast beef and lamb.

To account for this, Tesco is expanding its range of meat-free centrepieces, including a wheat protein roasting crown perfect for 2 or more people. 

In our Christmas recipes blog, we saw something similar. Plentiful vegan recipes for main meal centrepieces such as nut roasts, mushroom and chestnut tarts, butternut squash wellington and even vegetable pies are diversifying in their ranges.

By the close of 2021 it would be great to think that these items could be offered by the major supermarkets alongside the more traditional roast dinner options.

5. Vegan Sweet Treats

This year here at the Goodness Project we celebrated fulfilling our record amount of sales yet, so we can attest to the data that suggests searches for vegan chocolate rose by almost 31% in 2020!

With brand new vegan chocolate products surging onto the market daily, it’s no wonder that vegan dessert recipes will soon follow suit. This year alone we’ve been able to supply brand new ranges of vegan chocolate - including white chocolate - into our hampers, and have celebrated when vegan dessert alternatives like this panettone have cropped up in the recipe books.

Whether for vegans or just dairy-free alternative choices, we’re excited to see what the vegan sweet treat market can surprise us with next!

We’d like to thank all of our customers, new and existing, who provided their support to the Goodness Project across 2020. Whilst we are no longer fulfilling pre-Christmas orders due to unprecedented demand in popularity (thank you!), you can browse our range of vegan hampers and treats here. We’re excited to carry on supplying your favourite vegan treats into 2021!


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My name is Anna and I'm the co-founder of The Goodness Project. This is a little place where we will be sharing some of the things that inspire us at The Goodness Project - the food, the brands, the people and the lifestyle. We hope you enjoy your stay! :)

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