The year 2022 has begun and it’s shaping up to be an unpredictable and turbulent year to say the least. Changes are rapid, the health emergency is not over and the political situation is unstable. Now, as if two years of pandemic were not enough, Russia’s attack on Ukraine is bringing more disruption.
This year it would be particularly unreasonable to claim to predict what the future will bring. Next week’s world could be completely different from last week’s. However, we can analyze the data available to us today and speculate on developments.

How The War In Ukraine Is Impacting Global Food Supply

Among the war’s ripple effects, there is a turning point in global food pricing. Russia and Ukraine together makeup 29% of global wheat exports, 19% of global corn and 80% of exports of sunflower oil. This means that Russia’s attack on Ukraine threatens global food security.
Only time and events will reveal the severity of the consequences, for sure we are going to witness a number of repercussions. And since Russia and Belarus are primary exporters of fertilizers, the conflict poses a risk to food production in other countries too.
The United Nations’ World Food Program has expressed concern over the conflict that might considerably worsen the huger catastrophe humanity is already facing. War, climate change and the economic consequences of Covid 19 are the major causes of food insecurity. The current Ukraine conflict is expected to affect food prices around the world (differently according to the country) and be a game changer.
Since Europe is reliant on imports of corn and sunflower seed for livestock feed, it is quite possible that the price of meat will rise too. Will necessity remind us that it takes almost 100 times as much land to produce a gram of protein from beef or lamb, when compared to peas or tofu?
It is too early to make any predictions. We can, however, analyze other data at our disposal and check the 2022 vegan trends that, during the first two months, matter the most.

The Vegan Market Figures You Need To Know

Plant-based food market is doing phenomenally well. No wonder it attracts the interest of big banks. UBS Investment Bank forecasts the global plant-based meat market to reach USD 51 billion by 2025 and a report from Credit Suisse points to the vegan sector as an excellent investment opportunity. The market for alternatives to meat and dairy products is expected to grow from the current $14 billion reaching $1.4 trillion by 2050.


Research suggests that plant-based products will also witness a surge of manufacturers investments willing to respond to an increase in consumer demand. In fact, 56% of food and drink brand owners and manufacturers interviewed in a new research commissioned by Atura Proteins are most likely to invest their new product development budgets in the development of plant-based products in 2022.
“The veggie boom is in full swing!”, Pro Veg International triumphantly announces on an Instagram post. According with their new Smart Protein Survey, a remarkable 46% of Europeans have already reduced their meat consumption dramatically and nearly 40% of people following an omnivore and flexitarian diet intend to consume less meat in the near future. Three-quarters of flexitarians already eat less meat compared to a year ago.

Veganuary, the global organization encouraging people to try vegan in January and beyond, has this year welcomed more than 629,000 people from 228 countries. And more than a third of people in the UK are now interested in becoming vegan.

Bright future ahead for the plant-based food industry, the trend keeps rising. Reducing meat consumption is unstoppably going mainstream with big players and established brands riding the tide.
Philadelphia’s first plant based variant has just been launched, Pret A Manger has now three permanent Veggie Pret stores in London and the controversial Nestlé vegan KitKat is a reality, just to name a couple of examples.

Based on Bloomberg Intelligence Research analysis, the global plant-based alternatives market could reach $162 billion in the next decade. An ‘explosive growth’ making up 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030.

The booming popularity of plant-based eating couldn’t go unnoticed by the World Health Organization that recently published a review entitled ‘Plant-based diets and their impact on health, sustainability and the environment
They report interesting data, for instance: “it has been estimated that in 2020 there were 2.4 million deaths worldwide, and approximately €240 million in health-care costs, attributable to excessive red and processed meat consumption”
The research concludes that “considerable evidence supports shifting populations towards healthful plant- based diets that reduce or eliminate intake of animal products and maximize favourable “One Health” impacts on human, animal and environmental health.”

The data are encouraging, but wait: 2022 is going to be another bumpy year. How can we navigate through it and ride its unpredictable waves?
Here 11 vegan trends to watch in 2022 and the visuals needed for successful visual communication:

# 1 The New Normal: Adaptability Is Key

“It is time to face the world’s predictable unpredictability”, states The Economist.
Indeed. Present times can very destabilizing and tumble our habits, careers, relations, finances and more.
Change is rapid and turbulent, many different factors have the potential to cause confusion and instability. The present is unclear, the future uncertain.
How can a brand deal with these complex times?
While you need to be ready to alter your plans with agility (maybe with innovative products, new distribution…), it’s important to stay true to your values and vision.
Why? Because for the public it’s easier to grieve the old normal and embrace change with the help of trustable experiences, products and… brands.


People desire to avoid excessive stress. Win your customers’ attention offering something comforting, warm, relaxing, cheerful:

  • Intimate atmospheres, cozy moods, reassuring tones.
  • Images that show traditional elements, like a table set in a familiar way
  • Traditional dishes (even if they are prepared with new ingredients as in trend #9)
  • Pictures that suggest connection and quality time.

There is also a desire for escape and images that evoke stylish atmospheres and small self-gratifications can be appreciated (but not always appropriate).

# 2 Age Of Accelerations

Remember 2021 big hypes? Some of them are so last year now and not so relevant after all. Others are increasingly becoming part of our reality, for instance: Metaverse, NFTs, Social Media shopping, AI implementations.
All very exciting and… stressing! Not only technology is developing at a rate faster than we can possibly keep up with, but our very way of doing things need to keep changing. And then there is global warming, social justice, unemployment, supply chain issues, privacy concerns, inflation…
We need to constantly adapt to new scenarios and rules of conduct, we need to keep learning how to use new technology.
All this unsettlement is not without consequences. Since the pandemic started, mental health issues skyrocket. We are craving for stability and things to rely on.


As for trend #1, it’s important to propose innovations in a reassuring way. Your new product will benefit from pictures that contain elements familiar to your audience. In other words, try to associate #innovation with something #familiar.

#3 Flexitarians Are The Game Changer

We already knew that almost 90% of the people eating non-meat burgers are not vegetarian or vegan.
Flexitarians (those who go mainly meatless, but occasional eat meat or diary) are still driving the plant-based boom and now desire to diversify their diets with more vegan options, possibly healthier than the over-processed burgers that helped to move away from meat.
Many of them have only switched to their new dietary lifestyle in the last two years. They are curious, open to change, and, as such, need guidance and information about vegan foods.


Flexitarians will appreciate your help in navigating their new orientation, but be careful: they are now getting more demanding and the offer has increased. In order to catch their attention, you better use visuals that are very appealing, eye-catching and useful. They want to be inspired with unique and mouth-watering images for their plant-based meals.

#4 Climatarianism: What Actually Is A Climatarian?

Flexitarians are not all the same. For many of them it’s all about health, some want to experience new flavors, others try to keep their personal impact on animal suffering in check. Consumers that are looking to reduce their carbon foot prints and therefore consume less meat are called Climatarians. With the increasingly frequent occurrence of devastating natural phenomena, more and more people are willing to consume less animal products in order to save the planet.


Since Climatarians are mainly motivated by ecological reasons, address them with colors that evoke nature. You might also want to underline the eco-friendliness of your products using props like a wooden table, hand-made earthenware dishes and so on. Please don’t try to make your products look sustainable if they aren’t. That’s greenwashing.

#5 The Rise Of Reducetarians

In the Whole Foods Market’s latest Trends Council Report, Reductionism has been identified as a trend to watch for 2022 and Waitrose, in its 20221/2022 Food & Drink Report, points out that many consumers are looking to reduce the number of days in which they eat meat during the week: veggie for five days and omnivorous for the two remaining days.
But what is the difference between Flexitarian and Reducetarian? While flexitarians are primarily plant-based oriented and occasionally include animal products, reducetarians gradually reduce their consumption of these animal products with respect to their own diet.
In other words, reducetarians tend to like meat, otherwise they’d go vegan. They limit animal products in their diet because they know it’s good for their health, the animals and the planet.


Reducetarians seem to be the ones that appreciate the most products that look and taste like animal products.
Show them images that remind them typical meat-eaters dishes and you’ll make them curious. The picture of a rare steak of lab grown meat that would certainly not appeal a vegan, might look appetizing to a reducetarian.

#6 Transparency, Please! We Are Gen Z

In 2019 Millennials (born 1981-1996) were the top consumers of plant-based meat alternatives. Because of the hype of so many new products, they were inclined to turn a blind eye to the over-processed foods and if they were sustainable or not. Now, Generation Z (born 1997-2012) is starting to come into adulthood, they are 32% of the global population.
Their orientation toward sustainability, social justice and ethics is strong and food is their top spending priority (nutritional values are, of course, important to them).
69% of Gen Zers globally say they’d be willing to pay more for a brand or product if they knew it was supporting an issue they care about.
82% of them consider social responsibility very important and ponder the ethical standards of those who produce what they eat. In fact, they can be skeptical of brands if their actions are not showing that they are operating in society’s best interest.
Nearly 9 in 10 Gen Zers believe that it’s important that they do something to fight climate change. If your products are helping them to do so, you will benefit from their purchasing power.
Caring about the impact of one’s choices is not limited to Gen Z. According with McKinsey research, 3 in 5 consumers say that sustainability is of concern in their purchases. “Not clear if people put that principle into action when they purchase, but the attitude is genuine.”


Are your manufacturing facilities sustainable? Are your ingredients locally sourced? Do you use organic ingredients? Are you supporting any good cause? Show it in pictures, they want to know!

#7 Teach Me

Since the plant-based sector is growing so rapidly, the ones that turned their attention just recently to vegan food would appreciate some help (remember our 2021 #1 trend?).
About 50% of them feel they need more information about plant-based food products. They want to know about nutritional values, recipes, ways to cook certain ingredients and more. They look for these information on search engines, they visit health and nutrition-society websites looking for food options that are healthier and more ethical.
According with the survey published by ProVeg International as part of the Smart Protein Project, 43% are likely or very likely to look for such information visiting food-company websites. Help them vary and spice up their menus with your suggestions.


Practical tips that help them navigate their new food orientation will be greatly appreciated. Share visually appealing recipes, guidelines, suggestions and meal plans. Inspire them showing them what they could experience choosing your products.

#8 Desire For Connection

Already in 2018, a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation pointed out that more than two in ten reported loneliness or social isolation in the U.K. and the U.S., double the share in Japan. The pandemic has intensified our isolation and made us more vulnerable to sadness: it’s a loneliness epidemic.The 2020 Cigna Loneliness Research Report notes that 61% of those surveyed felt lonely.
Now, compared to last year we have a better chance of meeting, but always with caution. After months on end when we couldn’t see anyone, we’re valuing those who truly matter to us – and cherishing the time we spend with them.
52% of people surveyed for the Waitrose 2021-2022 Food & Drink Report say that the past 19 months have made them more appreciative of friends and family. A third of those surveyed said they’re having smaller gatherings than before. People tend to feel that life is too short therefore quality is preferred over quantity.
We are now the most connected and probably the loneliest we have ever been. We desire to connect more and social networks pay a big role in that. Three quarters of 18-24 years old looked at TikTok and Instagram for food inspiration during lockdown. What is the viral potential of your vegan brand pics?


Barbecues, picnics and everything outdoors are trending now because are safer. When presenting your products, show a homely, friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Show the comfort of a shared meal. Food is strongly connected to conviviality and our sense of community (remember our 2021 trend #4?)
Sometimes a warm light is enough to suggest the relaxed and pleasant atmosphere of a private dining.
Don’t forget the importance of social media, the magic hashtag is #HOMECHEF (4.3 billion views on TikTok)

#9 Fancy Breakfast

Despite the health emergency is slowly decreasing, we shouldn’t expect a return to 2019 behaviors. Work-from-home, for instance, is here to stay.
That means we can be more flexible with our time and also indulge in rewarding self-gratification. Breakfast has become a greater focal point in our lives and, as Speciality Food Magazine points out, “with fewer commutes to work, families have more time together at the breakfast table. It’s the mealtime equivalent of a family group hug before the day begins.”
A renewed interest for breakfast was already emerging before the pandemic. It was an informal and pleasant way to meet early in the morning in bars and discuss work projects in front of a slice of cake.
Now it’s different, we are talking of intimate and gratifying breakfasts while cocooning in our homes. Remember the “hyper-nesting” described by Faith Popcorn in 1981? Yes, the past two years made us re-discover the comfort of staying in our cocoons.
People aged 18-34 are the group most likely to stay in more, in a sign that the Homebody Economy isn’t confined to the older generations. According with the Waitrose 2021-2022 Food & Drink Report 41% of us enjoy spending time at home more than they used to and 53% of us agree food is more important to them than it was pre-pandemic.
And this is how the various age groups agree with the statement: “Although lockdown is over, I plan to go out less”

  • 58% of 18- 34-year-olds agree
  • 49% of 35- 44-year-olds agree
  • 46% of 45- 54-year-olds agree
  • 45% of over-55s agree


Show that tempting, delicious breakfast! Your customers want to start their days with something uplifting: a slice of cake, herbal teas, smoothies, chocolate cookies, fruit, puddings, muffins… a rich breakfast must look gluttonous and mouth-watering. Since Gen Zers and Millennials are numerical important, remember what they like!

#10 Give Me More Diversity

With Covid19 limiting international travel, the desire to explore exotic recipes at home is increasing. According with the New York Times, in 2022, regional foods from India will get a lot of attention, with deep dives into dishes from Gujarat, Kerala, Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and the Awadh area.
Not only that, Michelin-starred chefs started offering vegan menus in their posh restaurants around the world and plant-based meal kits are gaining attention with delivery services like AllPlants and its chef-made vegan meals ready to heat and eat in minutes.
Ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants are on the rise too, they offer a variety of vegan options. Keep an eye on VDC Culinary and their innovative franchising, they provide restaurants everything needed to build multiple concepts out of one kitchen and create a more profitable delivery business. Celebrities menus are one of the available options. In other words, a restaurant can focus on executing food orders while the app brings new orders in. The very same kitchen can prepare food the TikTok Kitchen or other virtual restaurants. They do not have a vegan virtual restaurant yet (here waiting for 100% Vegan competitors!)
New ingredients and new tastes are making their way into supermarkets too. Over the past year there has been a +59% increase in new plant-based products.
One interesting ingredient is mycoprotein, a sustainable protein source made from a natural fungus called Fusarium Venenatum, that can replicate meat in texture and taste.


Show more variety to win consumers! Put in your pictures the ethnic cuisine and the related ambience you know your customers desire. Present your novelties with inspiring recipe pictures making sure to remember trend #2 and including reassuring and familiar elements in the image.

#11 Familiar Food

In this chaotic world we crave for stability (see trend #1) and look for what helps us feel safer. That’s why during the pandemic consumers felt the desire for nostalgic food products and childhood favorites regained popularity.
As we know (see trend #3), Flexitarians are driving the plant-based boom and tend to favor ingredients they are fairly familiar with (read: non-vegan foods too).
That’s why, according with the Good Food Institute, instead of asking consumers to give up the foods they love, “we can create meat, eggs, and dairy more sustainably and efficiently by making them from plants, cultivating them directly from cells, or producing them by fermentation.”
Plant-based beef, poultry, tuna, salmon, mozzarella or sliced cheese are in demand. They are “transition foods”, designed to meet a very large target audience.
In 2020 we witnessed a turning point with the rise of vegan burgers. In 2021, plant-based chicken boomed and vegan fish started becoming popular (also helped by the seafood industry documentary Seaspriracy).
For instance, Good Catch Foods nostalgic fish sticks won the title of Peta 2021 company of the year.
In 2022 we’ll see more plant-based fish, like Aqua mushroom-based seafood and many other vegan brands that mimic sea food.
(btw, Proveg is giving away a free plant-based seafood ebook full of easy to prepare recipes)


As already described in trend #5, pictures conceived to target flexitarians will also benefit from meat-eaters aesthetics (what, this is not meat?). Don’t forget that many vegans have absolutely no inclination to seek food that looks, smells and tastes like meat, but still want familiar food. In a picture, the use of traditional elements (like traditional dishes as indicated in trend #1) will result appealing to both targets.

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Feel free to drop us a line if you want to translate these trends into successful visual communication.