Over just the last few years, plant-based foods have been seeing a huge spike in not only acceptance, but actual desirability. This isn't accounted for just by an increase in people who are choosing to be vegetarian or vegan. It's happening for three very relevant reasons.
One, the plant-based food industry has started making products that actually taste good. Two, we are now equipped with the correct information that plant-based foods can deliver more protein and nutritional value to the consumer over non plant-based products. Three, the carbon and water footprint of manufacturing plant-based foods is significantly smaller than any other consumer food.
Originally, makers of vegan foods focused on trying to make their products taste like meat. While some still do this, and a few have actually become pretty good at it, another part of the industry decided that it would be better to let plant-based foods shine for what they are. Now, some manufacturers make a range of products, encompassing both ideals.
One of the keys to the wider acceptance of vegan foods is that they no longer taste like they're meant for rabbits or horses. Instead, they incorporate sweet fruits that greatly improve palatability. If the food isn't meant to be sweet, it is processed in such a way as to ensure that it has the usual key factors that make things taste good: seasoning, crispiness, and the right mouth feel.
Now that these key elements can be easily found in vegan foods, they are appealing even to those who would not ordinarily eschew meat. Many have found the meatless burger sold at a major fast food chain to be a hit, and people are also seeking out plant-based snacks.
Are these changes enough to get more people to move to completely plant-based diets? They may indeed sway some to make the change. Others will be more likely to replace some of their snacks and meals with plant-based versions, thereby reducing their meat consumption even if they aren't ready to switch to a fully plant-based diet. This choice to partially adopt a plant-based diet is a small and important step in consumers making choices that both impact their future as well as the future of our planet. Browse our selection at Cool Foods to get a glimpse into the future of vegan foods.