Market research firm Mintel recently released its 2018 Summer Food & Drink Trends report based on a consumer survey it conducted to ascertain consumers’ summer buying habits. The report lists four trends based on the data Mintel collected, including a strong consumer shift toward plant-based meat products such as jackfruit. “Vegan options are on the rise,” Mintel global food analyst Melanie Zanoza Bartelme said. “Flavor-bursting new varieties of vegan alternatives made from innovative ingredients like Indian jackfruit, which due to its texture and flavor is becoming an increasingly popular meat substitute, will be the star of the vegan barbecue this summer.” Further, the report revealed that 33 percent of American consumers plan to purchased plant-based foods this summer. Mintel also predicted that the popularity of Halo ice cream—which debuted seven flavors of vegan coconut milk-based ice cream last year—will influence other brands in the frozen dessert category to release “healthier” products. Mintel’s predictions are supported by recently released report “Smile It’s Summer” commissioned by online retail giant Amazon which pointed to “meat-free” at the top grilling trend of summer 2018.
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