As more consumers turn to plant-based alternatives to reduce meat intake, improve overall health, and pursue a more sustainable lifestyle, brands are emerging with innovative products to fill every food category. 

Savory snacks are no exception, and companies looking to diversify would do well to consider the growing popularity of vegetarian and vegan options. Here are a few trends currently dominating the plant-based snack sphere.


Vegan Nachos

Tortilla chips are usually vegan, and this savory fave can be topped with veggies, tofu, and jalapeños to create a fully fabulous flavor profile. The trick, as with many a vegan alternative, is the cheese. The good news is that vegan cheese sauces are really hitting their stride.

The best options seem to be made from a pumpkin or butternut squash base, ideally paired with blended cashews for an ultra-creamy texture. Additions like nutritional yeast and miso paste, along with spices like salt, pepper, and paprika, provide a flavor profile very similar to traditional nacho cheese. 

Every chef can add their own twist, but there’s no denying the powerful appeal of a heaping plate of nachos smothered in a velvety sauce.


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Broccoli Chips

Kale chips have been around for a while, and their potato counterparts (regular and sweet) have never gone out of style. However, if you’re looking to wow diners with something off the beaten path, broccoli chips are a growing fave.

Also called smashed broccoli (in keeping with the smashed potato trend), these crispy snacks are made by boiling florets for just a couple of minutes before smashing them flat on a baking sheet to roast. 

After dousing the chips in EVOO, the sky is the limit where spices are concerned. Classic S&P is always a hit, as are flavored salts like bacon or truffle salt. You could also add an Italian spice blend or turn up the heat with taco or adobo seasoning. 

One popular addition to this trending veg is a finely grated cheese, such as parmesan, that crisps up along with the broccoli. For a fully plant-based snack, a vegan cheese sauce dip might work better.


Related: Plant-based: Alternative Newness


Potato Chip Alternatives

All you have to do is wander the aisles of Cost Plus World Market or Trader Joe’s to find crispy potato chip alternatives made from onions, cassava, plantains, and of course, corn. What makes these options shine, however, is the flavor add-ins.

Rosemary Purple Sweet Potato, Cassava Barbeque, and Sweet Maui Onion Ring chips are all on tap at World Market, while Trader Joe’s serves up Quinoa and Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips, Jerk Style Plantain Chips, and the Chili & Lime Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips famously coveted by social influencer Dylan Mulvaney. 

For adventurous snackers, there’s no shortage of plant-based chip flavors, whether they’re reaching for potatoes or other crisped ingredients.


Vegan Jerky

For some plant-based diners, it’s hard to imagine a savory snack less appealing than dried meat, yet there are plenty of popular vegan jerkies. 

Unsurprisingly, the faux meat magnates at Beyond Meat have thrown their hats in the ring with a popular mung bean and pea protein base. More interesting options include mushroom jerky from brands like Moku and Pan’s, soy protein bases from Louisville Vegan Jerky Co and It’s Jerky Y’all, and jackfruit jerky from Jack & Friends. 

With a focus on texture, mouthfeel, and flavor, these savory snacks are a great veg-based swap for all-meat jerky.


Don’t Miss the Savory Wave

With options to update all kinds of savory snacks to satisfy without the addition of meat or animal products, consumers seeking plant-based alternatives are enjoying a veritable Renaissance of snacking. Brands eager to explore new audiences may want to get in on this upward trend sooner rather than later.


To learn more about our products and insights, get in touch with our team at Symrise today, Contact us here! 

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