An increase in the number of vegan consumers hasn’t gone unnoticed by companies fighting for a bigger bite of the growing segment. That’s why you’ll see so many “plant-based” options on restaurant menus and in supermarket aisles these days.
But some people believe we’ve finally gotten to the point where that phrase has lost any discernible meaning.
Chocolate bars might be the final straw
Reese’s recently announced the roll-out of its plant-based peanut butter cups and Hershey’s is also coming out with a comparable version of its iconic chocolate. They’ll reportedly be using oat milk instead of dairy products, which at least some consumers will appreciate.
For many others, however, this is just further evidence that “plant-based” has become the latest overused food fad in a long line that includes phrases like “low-fat” and “all-natural.”
In fact, some brands that have always been “plant-based” (like V8 vegetable juice) have started using such language on their labels in an apparent effort to appeal to the vegan crowd.
You’ll also find a number of items that aren’t intended to be eaten — such as cleaning products — that are also jumping on the bandwagon.
And as with previous marketing gimmicks, there’s a financial motivation for advertising “plant-based” credentials. The market grew by a whopping 6% in 2021, when it accounted for $7.4 billion in sales.
How big will it get?
Although some folks are starting to become skeptical of the trend, there’s no sign that it’s slowing down anytime soon. On the contrary, major brands and upstart companies alike appear to be doubling down on their commitment to providing as many “plant-based” options as possible this year.
From Domino’s to Ben and Jerry’s and everything in between, here’s a list of nearly two dozen vegan products set to launch in 2023.