In recent years, plant-based food has entered a new era of growth and innovation. Healthier, tastier, and more innovative options are contributing to that growth, creating a market that is currently projected to reach $77.8 billion by 2025. 

While trends come and go, the place to experience the next era of plant-based food is often at trade shows, such as the Plant Based World Expo (PBW), where businesses debut their latest products.

“Since we launched the first Plant Based World Expo in 2019, the plant-based industry has grown at lightning speed, and every year, we’ve grown and evolved to meet the demand and showcase the next wave of innovative and accessible plant-based products,” Benjamin Davis, Content Chair and Strategic Advisor, PBW, tells VegNews. 

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“This year, we’ve significantly expanded our International Pavilions and have companies from Italy, Brazil, Denmark, Peru, France, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Australia, and Canada,” Davis adds. 

This year’s plant-based food trends

Designed for foodservice and retail professionals, distributors, investors, and manufacturers, the two-day PBW begins this week at the Javits Center in New York City. Attendees will hear from experts across the food industry, discover plant-based innovations, learn about the latest products and trends, and more. 

“This year’s Plant Based World Expo, our third, is an opportunity for the global plant-based industry to come together, collaborate, face challenges head-on, and build a more resilient, equitable food system for future generations,” Davis says.

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This year, there will be more than 200 exhibitors and sponsors, 40 conference sessions, and more than 4,000 people are expected to attend. And while there is much to see, hear, and taste, we’ve honed in on five vegan food trends that are dominating the show. 

1Mushrooms

There has been a lot of excitement about mushrooms lately, and the trend is continuing. Brands such as Fable Food and Popadelics made a big splash last year with their mushroom-based products. 

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They have returned this year along with Myco Technology, a company that harnesses the metabolic engine of mushrooms using natural fermentation to create novel ingredients such as mushroom-based protein. 

Urbani will showcase an array of truffles, and renowned Chef Fabrizio Facchini is at its booth. 

2Healthy snacks

There is increased interest in healthier plant-based snacks and prepared foods using sustainable ingredients such as hemp, jackfruit, and seaweed. 

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For example, Carne de Jaca offers traditional frozen jackfruit meat, seasoned frozen jackfruit meat, dehydrated jackfruit meat, jackfruit meat farofa, and jackfruit meat caponata. 

Fabalish creates plant-based products made from chickpeas and its byproduct, aquafaba (chickpea water). This includes a line of plant-based dips such as our tzatziki, ranch, and queso; and the first baked and organic falafel on the market. 

3Algae

This year, a number of companies are using algae for food, beverages, and supplements.

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For example, Aliga Microalgae is a Danish-based food-tech company specializing in developing, producing, and commercializing functional and protein-rich chlorella algae ingredients for food, beverage, and dietary supplement applications. 

4Innovative vegan meat

Vegan meat is always on trend, but lately it’s being made with mushrooms, tempeh, seitan, and other less processed plant ingredients to create center-of-the-plate proteins. 

For example, Green Wolf Foods is a plant-based food company specializing in crafting premium-quality vegan deli meats. Its main product, Vegami, is a vegan salami made with real vegetables, greens, and mushrooms, naturally smoked to perfection.

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Attendees will also see the advances and types of plant-based meats. For example, Smoky Mmm Meats offers BBQ faves like plant-based smoked Texas-style BBQ brisket and half-smokes. 

Mooji Meats Inc. is a company that specializes in vegan steaks that elevate the plant-based dining experience to a whole new level. 

And Better Meat Co harnesses the power of fermentation to make delicious, versatile mycoprotein ingredients for food companies to use as the basis of their blended and fully animal-free meats.

5Global foods and flavors

With the global expansion of growing vegan brands comes global flavors and spices. PBW has expanded its International Pavilions this year, so attendees have an opportunity to explore the global influence of plant-based foods from countries including Italy, Brazil, Denmark, Peru, France, the UK, Thailand, Australia, and Canada. 

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Stroop Club, for example, offers the world’s first organic certified and vegan stroopwafels and syrups. The delicious traditional Dutch snack now comes in the most sustainable packaging available. And French company Brioche Gourmet offers plant-based brioche and croissants.

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