New York City, NY—WGSN, a global trend forecasting firm, has released a report about the vegan baking industry. Utilizing data from a custom social media Influencer Map and online retail sales, the firm found a growing interest in sustainable and healthy vegan desserts.
On social media, #veganbaking jumped 35% in the past year while #baking alone grew a comparatively tepid 12%, the report shared. The COVID-19 lockdowns and extra time spent at home had an impact on the trend.
“I attribute the vegan baking trend to unprecedented concern about personal health, animal welfare and environmental resources,” said Kara Nielsen, Director of WGSN Food & Drink, in a press release. “Like so many consumers, those following flexitarian and vegan diets nevertheless still crave a sweet treat, comfort food, and celebratory baked items, all of which make this an ideal time for food makers to invest in developing more vegan baking ingredients, mixes, and finished products.”
According to the research, popular baked goods consumers are testing out include vegan banana breads, brownies made with plant butter, and buttercream made with aquafaba. Recipe influencers and the home bakers that follow them are baking birthday cakes, fruit tarts, cupcakes, lots of cookies and cookie balls. Seasonal desserts and cheese-less cheesecakes are also common.
Looking ahead, the researchers at WGSN expects interest in vegan desserts to increase even more in January due to the “Veganuary” month-long event which is popular in the UK. Retailers, they say, should expect manufacturers to innovate in the plant-butter, chickenless egg products, and baking mix product lines.