One theory I have is that it's a reaction to veg cooking being predominantly about ethnic exotic (and low fat) for so long. I didn't grow up in the midwest, so I don't have comfort or nostalgic attachments to that style of cooking. Fake meats are great for convenience, but it's still processed food and I think they become a crutch for cooks. Meat analogues eliminate a lot of creativity and drive restaurant prices up due to their high cost (relative to say, beans or seitan).
Again, what are the trends in your area? What do you think that they are a result of? What do you predict for future trends?
Now that I have just crabbed about processed and unhealthy food, I would like to be totally hypocritical and ask about everyone's opinions of vegan mayo products. We're having a luau bbq next month, and (contemporary) Hawaiian cooking involves a decent amount of mayo. I'd like to make mac and potato salads that everyone can eat. Favorites? Ones that will hold up to outdoor/buffet conditions?