By Shane O’Brien – Culinary Consultant
Fascinating trends never stop in the world of food, and largely it revolves around ingredients and raw materials.
One interesting feature of consumer interest is within the area of wellness. Stress relief and food have a long relationship. Take, for instance, mushrooms and the clever but proven approach taken by the Finnish-American food and beverages company specializing in mushroom-based drinks, Four sigmatic. Their “Mushroom Hot Chocolate” contains an adaptogen known as reishi, which may induce calmness to help you sleep better and lower occasional stress. This is not a fluke either; according to a story on Healthline, “In 2021, we’ll notice more food and beverage companies coming out with products that contain these ingredients with an emphasis on reducing stress and improving sleep, which is also linked to better mental health.”
Other examples of emerging trends are, of course, in the plant-based space. Beyond Meat, well on its way to becoming a household name, has more to offer than a burger patty replacement.
The Deep-Fried Philly Eggroll from the Vegan A.F. truck located in Los Angeles, specifically in the eastern part of Fairfax District, takes Beyond Meat and seasons it heavily, adds plant-based cheese, and to add necessary texture and acidity, a little giardiniera. This all gets filled into an egg roll shell and then crisped up in the deep-fryer.
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The plant-based lifestyle is moving from an emerging trend to a sustained one, as we have seen in recent years in the form of U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods increasing 11 percent from 2018 to 2019.