A survey of the New Zealand Restaurant Association has named vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based diets as top food trends for 2018.
The poll, which was answered by 2000 of the organization's members, revealed that 28 percent of respondents anticipate an increase of vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based options this year.
Additionally, 64 percent expect to see an increase in overall demand for local, sustainable, and plant-based dishes.
Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois told the New Zealand Herald: "Health, plant-based, sustainable and allergen-friendly are some of the trends that our own members have predicted and [are] consistent with what has been forecast and reported globally."
She also mentioned that lactose-free options are in high demand - leaving chefs to adapt to a less dairy-ridden food scene, in the face of population largely identifying as lactose intolerant.
Also citing less interest in alcoholic beverages and a general shift toward healthier options, the observations and predictions of the Restaurant Association ultimately reveal choice making that is increasingly motivated by health and ethics.
While 'humane' farming is still on trend, Bidois did note that recent changes are indicative of more conscientious buying habits in New Zealand and beyond.
She said: "Consumers continue to be more informed about their food choices and the path in which their food takes, from farm to plate."
Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
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