Plant-based ingredients are set to dominate menus and supermarket shelves next year, UK food supplier EHL Ingredients has predicted.
Vegan ingredients will be taking center stage in 2018, 'as consumers diversify their eating habits to suit modern lifestyles, diets and fitness, and healthy eating trends', says the report.
EHL Ingredients' joint managing director Tasneem Backhouse has also specifically forecast that lesser-known vegan ingredients such as pomegranate molasses, harissa, sumac, edible flowers, as well as Hawaiian flavors will peak the interest of UK consumers in the coming year.
"Consumers of all ages are becoming increasingly experimental with their food choices, with a surge in those following a vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian diet," explained Backhouse.
"Veganism is shedding its fuddy-duddy image as new wave of fashionable, younger consumers adopt the animal-free diet, and research by the Vegan Society reveal that there are now around 542,000 vegans in the UK aged between 15 and 35."
He added: "Vegans of all ages are embracing an animal-free diet, so it's important to provide tasty and nutritious foods to meet this demand."
The ingredient supplier company is also predicting a rise in gluten-free foods.
"The vegan and gluten-free marets are growing, and they really represent an opportunity for us, and for the food industry as a whole, so we are working hard to source and develop ingredients to ensure those adhering to these diets don't have to compromise on flavor."