The global demand for plant-based foods is still on the rise, with the plant-based protein and non-dairy milk market set to increase by nearly 18 percent over the next three years. This is great news from an environmental standpoint. While research indicates more people around the world are going vegan, simply eating less meat — sometimes referred to as flexitarianism — is an evidence-based way to address climate change. If half of the global population ate a more plant-rich diet, we'd eliminate nearly a sixth of the emissions necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.
Fortunately, new plant-based brands, partnerships and products are released almost every day, to the delight of vegans and curious omnivores alike, making it easier for everyone to mix up their plates more often. Here are some of the new plant-based foods coming to restaurants and grocery stores near you in 2024.
Chefs, food bloggers and influencers share their top plant-based foods recipes for Veganuary
Market research shows the fresh vegetable market is on the upswing, and vegan food blog VegNews predicts processed foods are out and whole foods are back in (did they ever really leave?). While trying out plant-based swaps for comfort food classics can help to satisfy a craving or perhaps change someone's mindset about what meat-free eating can be, of course no one can live on vegan protein alone.
If you're interested in eating more plant-based foods this year and want to try cooking more yourself at home, you'll find no shortage of inspiration at your fingertips. Millions of posts with the hashtag #Veganuary have hit social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest already this month, many featuring simple and inspiring recipes you can make in 30 minutes or less at home.
Dave’s Hot Chicken rolls out "Not Chicken" choices made from cauliflower
Fast-casual chain Dave's Hot Chicken must have heard about the veg-forward trend. The eatery's first new core menu item since it got its start as a pop-up in a parking lot seven years ago isn't made from chicken or even a plant-based chicken analog, but rather from cauliflower. Customers at Dave's locations across 30 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. will find new cauliflower sliders and bites on the menu that come with the same crunch and spice as the chain's original hot chicken, available for a limited time.
Taco Bell introduces new value menu option for vegetarian choices
Fast-food chain Taco Bell is well known for offering plant-based foods and has been certified by the American Vegetarian Association since 2015. The latest is the new Veggie Build-Your-Own-Cravings-Box, which customers can customize with vegetarian items from the chain's value menu for $5.99. Choices include the black bean crunchwrap supreme, black bean chalupa and spicy potato soft taco. The chain says the new box offering will remain a permanent choice on the menu, meaning vegetarians and flexitarians can save some money on the road for all of 2024 and beyond.
After dropping vegan mac and cheese, the Kraft Heinz 'Not Company' promises new plant-based foods for 2024
Consumer goods giant Kraft Heinz linked up with food tech startup TheNotCompany back in 2022 to bring plant-based versions of beloved grocery brands to market. The resulting joint venture, the Kraft Heinz Not Company, built up a portfolio of plant-based milks, cheeses, mayo and meat alternatives before arguably its biggest launch to date in November of last year.
Kraft's boxed macaroni and cheese is a childhood memory and guilty pleasure for many — the company says a million boxes fly off the shelves every day — so the plant-based "NotMac&Cheese" drop understandably generated a ton of buzz. As the vegan mac rolls out to more U.S. stores, NotCo. says it plans to release new plant-based foods across "several more categories" in 2024.
The world's first yogurt made from fungi is coming to Whole Foods
Backed by Bill Gates, the upstart brand Nature’s Fynd is all about using a proprietary fungi blend to create plant-based alternatives to popular grocery items like cream cheese and breakfast patties. Its latest offering, a vegan yogurt made from fungi protein, may not sound all that appetizing at first, but the brand is looking to change hearts and minds with a flavor and texture it says come closer to dairy while carrying less environmental impact than other plant-based alternatives. The new dairy-free Fy Yogurt will roll out to Whole Foods stores across the U.S. in 2024.
Kellogg's new cereal-only spinoff goes vegan
In October, the consumer goods giant Kellogg's spun off its cereal business into a new subsidiary called WK Kellogg Co., and one of the new company's first big launches just happens to be vegan. Set to hit store shelves this year, the new "Eat Your Mouth Off" line is entirely plant-based and features fruity and chocolate flavors to mirror childhood classics. Both flavors also contain 22 grams of protein and zero grams of sugar per serving, Food Dive reports.
A vegan version of The Laughing Cow cheese is coming to U.S. stores
French cheese giant Bel Group released plant-based cheese alternatives under its cult labels Boursin and Babybel to much fanfare, and The Laughing Cow is the latest of the company's brands to go vegan. Made with almond milk, The Laughing Cow's spreadable vegan cheese is available in two flavors and will roll out to Whole Foods and Kroger grocers across the U.S. this year.
New seasonal oat milk drinks are coming to The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Oat milk is having a serious moment, with the market growing over 10 percent last year alone to more than $3 billion. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf started serving oat milk back in 2019, and its seasonal lineup for winter includes two new drinks featuring the non-dairy favorite. The new vanilla spiced oat latte and vanilla spiced oat cold brew hit store shelves last week, along with the return of its popular white and dark chocolate infusions.
Just Salad partners with Michelin-starred chef Amanda Cohen for Veganuary
Amanda Cohen's restaurant Dirt Candy is one of only two vegetarian restaurants in New York City to receive a coveted Michelin star. It also holds a Michelin Green star in recognition of outstanding sustainability initiatives. The restaurant's website reads, "We aren’t saying 'no' to meat, but saying 'yes' to vegetables," and the menu offers a colorful and creative take.
For Veganuary this year, Cohen teamed up with Just Salad to bring a new veg-forward offering to the fast-casual chain's winter menu. The fittingly named Dirt Candy Salad features cucumber, broccoli, spiced pumpkin seeds, pepperoncini, and Castelvetrano olives with tofu on a bed of romaine and arugula. "I'm excited to offer their customers a new vegan recipe that incorporates some of my favorite flavors and ingredients," Cohen said in a statement. The salad will be on the Just Salad menu until the end of January.
Blue Diamond drops almond-oat milk blend
Blue Diamond represents a cooperative of more than 3,000 almond growers in the Central California valley. Along with its tasty flavored almond snacks, the brand is perhaps best known as an early seller of almond milk under the Almond Breeze label.
While many enjoy the flavor and texture of almond milk — and choose it as a more sustainable alternative to real dairy — almonds actually require a lot of water, a major drawback from a sustainability standpoint. Almond Breeze's latest offering blends oat and almond milks together for the best of both worlds. Along with mitigating the water impacts, the brand says it delivers on the flavor of almond milk with the creamy texture of oat milk, while containing more calcium than dairy and less sugar than other oat milks on the market.
Plant-based cheese brand Armored Fresh plans nationwide tour to woo the food sector
With the global vegan cheese market set to reach $4.7 billion by 2026, brands are vying to stake their claim. South Korean startup Armored Fresh is one of the newest entrants to the U.S. market. After making its debut at more than 100 New York City corner grocers in 2022, the brand is eyeing national expansion.
To help it get there, Armored Fresh kicked off a coast-to-coast tour for foodservice professionals this month. The tour will show off the brand's new oat milk American cheese slices to chefs, restauranteurs and retail grocery buyers, along with "additional innovations yet to be released," the brand said in an announcement this month. Its existing lineup includes non-dairy cheddar, provolone, mozzarella and pepper jack cheeses made from oat milk, along with spreads and almond-based sweet and savory cheese cubes. The tour kicked off in New York City on January 2 and will stop in major cities across the U.S. before ending in California.
Starbucks adds an oat milk twist to shaken espresso
Not to be outdone by competitors, the world's most popular coffee chain dropped its own seasonal oat milk drink at the start of the month. The latest entrant to its popular "shaken espresso" line is made with oat milk and a touch of hazelnut for the season. After Starbucks moves on from the New Year's drink list, the new hazelnut oat milk shaken espresso will stay on the menu year-round, VegNews reports. Frankly we're not sure what a shaken espresso is, but if you were waiting for a dairy-free version, wait no longer.
Trader Joe's drops a new version of its discontinued plant-based sausage patties, and this time they're vegan
Trader Joe's introduced its Meatless Breakfast Sausage Patties in the mid 2010s before ultimately discontinuing them. But they're back as of last month with a new fully vegan recipe thanks to the omission of egg whites compared to the prior version. Along with being vegan, version 2.0 touts a better texture and richer flavor from added spices.
The (non-vegan) writer behind Club Trader Joe's, a popular blog among the retailer's cult following, pulled up his 2014 review of the last recipe and confirmed the new one "tastes much better" than the old. "I would say they are 90 percent of the way there to what the pork ones taste like," he wrote. Find them on Trader Joe's shelves across the U.S.
Impossible Foods teases a plant-based take on ballpark favorite franks
Impossible Foods is among those competing for the top spot on the plant-based meat scene. TriplePundit's editorial team first tasted its analog burgers at a side event during the COP21 climate talks back in 2016, and it broke onto the market a year later to much fanfare. The company has since worked with major restaurants, from David Chang’s Fuku and Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster to Burger King and Starbucks, and is now available at major retailers across the U.S.
Adding to its lineup of plant-based burgers, ground beef, pork, sausage and chicken, the food technologists at Impossible are preparing to launch a beef-free ballpark hot dog in time for summer 2024. The company took over a popular New York City hot dog stand last month to give fans a sneak peek at the new offering, which is set to debut at restaurants and retailers this year.
Mellow Mushroom revives an old favorite
With locations across 17 U.S. states, fast-casual pizza chain Mellow Mushroom is known for offering plant-based foods and first rolled out vegan cheese as an option for all pizzas back in 2010. To mark Veganuary this year, the chain is bringing back the fan favorite Miss Mushroom vegan pizza, which features vegan mozzarella and feta cheese from veteran plant-based brand Follow Your Heart, along with spinach, portobello mushrooms and caramelized onions atop a classic red sauce.
U.K. pie maker Pukka adds a new vegan offering
Our friends across the pond love a good pie — and we don't mean the kind made with apples or cherries, but rather savory varieties made with meats and spices inside a buttery pastry shell. Whether you're a native Brit or not, if you're a plant-based eater and a fan of pies, the latest launch from iconic label Pukka is right up your alley. The "No Steak Pie" features a plant-based steak alternative alongside vegan gravy and diced onion inside a puff pastry, adding to the brand's vegan offerings including a plant-based chicken pie launched last year. U.K. shoppers will find the new variety starting this month at retailers including Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco, Plant-Based News reports.
South Korean brand Unlimeat launches online plant-based foods shop for the U.S. market while innovating at home
South Korean food tech startup Unlimeat hit the U.S. market back in 2019, and it's catching on in a big way. After selling out products on platforms like Amazon and launching in mainstream grocers, the company launched an e-commerce shop geared toward the U.S. market at the end of last year. Customers can expect "limited editions, collaborative products and items popular in Korea" to hit the shop in 2024.
In a clever nod to the recent global boom in Korean beauty products under the shorthand K-Beauty, the company uses language like "K-vegan" to promote its take on plant-based foods made from agricultural ingredients that are often discarded due to shape or size. Offerings include vegan versions of pulled pork, tuna, jerky and Korean barbecue. The brand also rolled out a delivery service for a vegan version of the popular Kimbap snack in Korea, featuring the U.S. plant-based brand Just Egg.
Vegan honey is coming to the U.K. thanks to a unique cross-border partnership
Slovenia-based Narayan Food has big plans. It's already among the largest organic food producers and top sellers of coconut oil in Europe. And, per the company's LinkedIn page, it aims to build "the largest future food tech hub, enabling startups and scale-ups to come to market faster by providing industrial and commercial scaling."
The new plant-based label Better Foodie, developed in partnership with California-based startup MeliBio, is one of the first moves toward that end. The label's first product, a vegan honey alternative made from plant extracts with no added fruits or sugars, is set to be released in the U.K. later this year — rolling out to 200 independent stores from November, the U.K. publication Food and Drink Network reports.
Dutch brand Redefine Meat rolls out to more restaurants across Europe
Redefine Meat launched in the Netherlands, U.K. and Germany in 2021, becoming the first company to commercialize plant-based whole cuts including tenderloins and flanks made from ingredients like soy, potatoes and barley.
It now sells a variety of plant-based foods for home cooks in stores and online across Europe, and it leans into foodservice partnerships to show off the whole cut offerings. That includes plans to expand to 650 more European restaurants in 2024, Business Green reports, adding to existing partnerships with eateries like Ristorante Mamma Orso in Paris and Rifugio Romano in Rome.
Papa John's and Pizza Hut launch dueling vegan pizzas in the U.K.
Fast-casual pizza chain Papa John's has slowly shifted to offering more plant-based foods at restaurants in the U.K. A new vegan barbecue chicken pie featuring plant-based cheese, mushrooms and onions is the latest offering to hit the menu, and the vegan chicken option is available for all Papa John's pizzas at U.K. stores this month. The company is also offering 60 percent off pies for the month of January to inspire more people to try its plant-based choices, VegNews reports.
Not to be outdone, Pizza Hut partnered with Impossible Foods rival Beyond Meat for the new Beyond Pepperoni offering that hit the menu across the U.K. this month. This comes after fellow fast pizza chain Domino's rolled out vegan pizza at all U.K. restaurants in 2022, including another plant-based pepperoni made by Unilever brand The Vegetarian Butcher.
Hard Rock Cafe introduces vegan and vegetarian menu globally for Veganuary
Theme restaurant chain Hard Rock Cafe rolled out vegan and vegetarian choices for Veganuary this year, with new items on offer at locations from Chicago and Sacramento, California, to Manchester, U.K., and the Maldives. New selections include cauliflower wings, a barbecue plant burger and a veg-heavy quinoa salad.
Salt & Straw rolls out "Dairy-Free Decadence" series with five new flavors
Artisanal ice cream label Salt & Straw has brick and mortar stores in five U.S. states and ships its small-batch ice creams nationwide via an e-commerce shop and monthly subscription. A new series of five dairy-free flavors — oat milk and cookies, red velvet cake, bananas foster, death by chocolate, and marionberry oatmeal cobbler — will be available in store and for delivery beginning in January. "We're leaning into 2024 resolved to give your most tempting perennial treats a totally decadent, dairy-free spin," the company says on its website.
In a tasty blend of cultures, Ireland's favorite fast-casual Mexican chain rolls out vegan carne asada
Boojum, a successful Mexican restaurant chain with locations across Ireland, linked up with the plant-based foods purveyor Mock on a vegan carne asada offering for Veganuary. Made from mushroom, soy and spices, the Mock carne asada can be added to all of Boojum's popular menu items like burritos, tacos, quesadillas and bowls, and it's served with a guajillo chili sauce for a pop of flavor the chain promises is far from bland.
Upstart brand scales up tasty vegan chocolate inspired by Cadbury eggs
Fans of the iconic Cadbury creme egg were aflutter back in 2021 when a 79-year-old U.K. activist burst onto the scene with her vegan chocolate brand Mummy Meagz. The brand's vegan creme eggs were clearly inspired by the confectionary classic, and this year it rolled out a take on mini eggs that are perfect for sharing and snacking. The brand is available at brick and mortar stores in the U.K., and global shoppers can also find it on Amazon.
Emirates is among the airlines promising new plant-based foods for 2024
Based in the United Arab Emirates, the Emirates airline is no stranger to plant-based foods. In a January update, the company referenced a "vegan vault" of more than 300 recipes it has on rotation. Customers can expect "an array of new vegan dishes onboard and in lounges later this year," according to the company. It joins a host of other airlines adding new plant-based foods to the menu in response to customer demand — including U.S.-based United Airlines, European carrier Lufthansa and Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways.
Mary has reported on sustainability and social impact for over a decade and now serves as executive editor of TriplePundit. She is also the general manager of TriplePundit's Brand Studio, which has worked with dozens of organizations on sustainability storytelling, and VP of content for TriplePundit's parent company 3BL.