Sales of vegetarian and vegan foods have been soaring as A-list celebrities get on board the plant-food lifestyle
The vegetarian and vegan sectors are enjoying a surge in interest thanks to a combination of positive research findings regarding plant-based diets and the endorsement of various A- list celebrities.
But it’s veganism that’s been grabbing most of the media attention and which has acquired a cachet that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.
Highlighting the phenomenon, the Huffington Post recently ran a piece on the ‘15 vegan celebrities who have given up animal products for a healthier life’ – Bill Clinton, Natalie Portman, Mike Tyson, Alanis Morissette and Russell Brand among them. As the online newspaper put it, we’ve gone very quickly from “normalizing veganism to glamorizing it”.
The animal rights group PETA estimates that around 2.5% of the general population are vegan, and around 5% are vegetarian. But there are also growing ranks of meat avoiders who are becoming regular customers of vegetarian and vegan food brands. And that latter group is motivated primarily by health and environment concerns – it’s not only food scares that are turning people off meat and onto plant-based foods, it’s the benefits to the planet and long-term sustainability.
A 2012 Mintel report predicted that sales of branded vegetarian foods would grow at around 10% each year to 2016, when the market would be worth a cool £882 million. Interestingly, Mintel says that the growing number of vegetarian restaurants is one of drivers of growth in the category – acting as an “awareness builder”.
The impact of all this interest in a plant-based food lifestyle is being seen on high streets here and in Europe. This year the German vegan food retail chain Veganz plans to open its first store in Britain, stocking around 6,000 vegan lines.
Of course health food and wholefood stores are a traditional first port of call for vegetarian and vegan consumers. All Elements in East Sussex is one retailer which has noticed the surge of interest in veganism. Owner Victoria Fergus told Natural Products: “There are just more and more vegans in town. So we’ve found that vegan products in particular have been selling incredibly well.”
Gemma Green-Hope, from Wholefoods in Newport in Pembrokeshire, says that the audience for vegetarian and vegan foods as been constantly broadening out. “Vegetarian and vegan foods used to be a real niche area, but now they’re seen as a completely normal part of people’s food repertoire.
Top sellers at the store include veggie sausages and burgers from Redwood and Cauldron. “We always sell lots of basic tofu and some of the more unusual flavoured ones such as Taifun’s Smoked Tofu With Almonds and Sesame Seeds. Clear Spot’s Organic Tofu does well too.”
Vegan cheeses are also becoming more popular, says Green-Hope. “We recently started selling a locally-made brand – Good Carma – after we spotted it on a stall at a green fair here in Newport.”
See the box below for some of the vegetarian and vegan products stirring up interest on health store shelves.
The pies are in
Clive’s Pies are made in a specialist organic vegetarian bakery in the heart of Devon. They’re comfort food with top veggie, gluten-free (the tasty pastry is made from rice flour, potato flour and buckwheat flour) and organic credentials. They come in Minty Chickpea, Cheese & Potato, French Cassoulet, Lentil & Olive (editor’s choice!), Vegetable Chilli and Allo Gobi varieties.
Nuts for horchata
Everyone’s going nuts for horchata, the nut milk-based South American drink that’s so cool Vampire Weekend wrote a song about it. Plamil’s Organic Horchata is a concentrated tigernut (actually not a nut!) version that’s delicious when diluted with water, a mixer or used in cooking. It’s dairy-free and suitable for coeliacs.
Made on the beautiful Isle of Bute in Scotland, the award-winning Sheese range offers a cheese-like taste and experience in a range of dairy-, lactose- and egg-free recipes. There’s a Blue Sheese, a Cheddar Sheese, a smoked version and some delicious melting Sheeses. They’re perfect for enjoying on their own, with crackers, or in cooking.
Clearspring’s Sweet Grain Dessert is a traditional amazake made using time honoured production processes and three simple organic ingredients – water, wholegrains and a pinch of salt. These come together to produce this thick, creamy, dairy-free dessert. In Japan amazake – translated as ‘sweet sake’ – is normally consumed as a drink where it is diluted with hot water, sieved and drunk as a comforting winter warmer. But it can also be used to add texture and protein to a favourite fruit smoothie, natural sweetness to pancakes and muffins or as a batter to make dairy-free French toast.
The Vegg describes itself as the first purely vegetable alternative to egg yolk to offers a “unique and convincing authenticity in look and taste”. A real replacement for egg yolk, it’s perfect for use in various recipes like French toast, omelette, coating, scrambled tofu, pudding, quiche and much more.
The flax facts
3 Omega Dairy-Free Flax Drink from Good Karma Foods is a new healthy dairy alternative offering all the complex nutritional benefits of flax seed oil – the highest plant based source of healthy omega 3. Described as the “go to healthy option for anyone who is either lactose intolerant, vegan or just looking for an alternative to dairy milk”, the drink has a rich creaminess and no aftertaste.
Food Focus Listings
Tideford Organic Foods award winning soups and sauces are all gluten free and low salt with many recipes suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Their Spring/Summer range includes delicious Beetroot with Dill, a Pea & Mint and a Classic Gazpacho. All cooked like you would at home. No additives, No preservatives. Just the Good Stuff!
The all new 9bar breakfast range from Wholebake takes the delicious innovation from existing 9bar varieties and combines delicious fruit, chewy oats, puffed rice and soya protein crispies with super seeds including hemp, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower. The carefully selected ingredients in breakfast 9bars provide a cocktail of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, which can be consumed in minutes and deliver the energy to get you through the busiest part of the day. With four new exciting varieties launching at Natural & Organic Products; Almond & Raspberry, Apricot & Strawberry, Peanut & Raisin and Cashew & Cocoa for those craving a little extra sweetness for breakfast, make sure you visit Wholebake to try them out.
These energy-packed raw food bars consist of 90% alkaline-forming, enzyme-active, organic whole foods, sprouted superfoods, essential fatty acids and antioxidants that provide optimal nutrition. Natural, delicious, unrefined sugars used as Agave Nectar are used to add to flavour but ensure the bars have a low glycemic index. Organic Food Bars aid the hectic lifestyles of hard-working people who demand more from their food bars – rich in protein, healthy fats, extra fibre, fruits and veggies. Each energy food bar is gluten, soy, peanut and dairy free so the organic protein comes from brown rice and almond butter.
Pulsin’ has launched an exciting vegan protein bar, designed with the new Pulsin logo. The mini Vanilla Choc Chip Protein Snack combines almonds, rice protein, chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Appealing to women, it bridges the gap between sports bars and grocery confectionery. It’s also very low in natural sugars, contains a low GI/GL and is free from gluten, wheat and dairy plus provides 6g of protein. This bar makes the ideal pre/post-exercise boost or a handy, healthy meal-replacement for people on the go. A delicious alternative to a chocolate bar, whenever you feel like having a nibble on something tasty.
Guilt-free, delicious Booja-Booja Ice Cream Alternative is now even more enticing with a lower RRP of just £5.99. This creamy premium dessert is made without refined sugars and is dairy, gluten & soya free and 100% organic. There’s a long list of “good things” and a very short list of ingredients (only 4 or 5 per tub) in this indulgently healthy ice cream alternative. Offer your customers 5 gorgeous varieties, including luxurious Hunky Punky Chocolate and Keep Smiling Vanilla M’Gorilla, winner of the ‘Cakes & Biscuits, Confectionery & Desserts Category’ at the Soil Association Awards 2013 now with 38% more vanilla.
Quinoa grains are regarded as one of the “Superfoods” By harnessing the Quinoa “supergrain” Eat Real has created a snack that has all the benefits of consuming Quinoa that is light and delicious and is ideal to share with family and friends. Available in 5 mouth tingling varieties and two packs 80g and 30g all under our new Eat Real branding Plain • Sun Dried Tomato – Roasted Garlic Chilli – Fresh Lime • Sour Cream – Chive Hot and Spicy Eat Real Quinoa Chips are suitable for Vegans and are naturally free of Wheat, artificial colours and preservatives.
Organic Marinated Tofu the newest edition to the Dragonfly range has been requested time and time again by our loyal customers, and now it’s finally here. Dragonfly Marinated Tofu takes all the time consuming hard work out of adding flavour to tofu. Marinated in tamari, ginger, cumin and garlic, this fantastically flavoured tofu leaves you wanting more.
The Living Food Kitchen’s range of raw, unpasteurised almond drinks are a great way to enjoy the goodness of almonds and taste great too. Available in 250ml bottles they are perfect for the grab and go chiller. There are five flavours to enjoy including plain, raw chocolate, blueberry, banana hemp and vanilla & honey. Available in Wholefoods, Planet Organic and all good heathfood stores via Marigold. To stock call 020 8453 9466.
Sun & Seed Ltd
Tel: 02072 677799 Fax: 02072 677799
E-mail: [email protected]
Raw organic seeds are activated with pure water and germinated into shoots, than dehydrated bellow 40C to preserve the raw nutritional value. The water removes the enzyme inhibitors and the seed begins to germinate. The plant starts to multiply in its nutrient content, growing into a sprout, getting ready to become a tree or full sized plant. This results in a sprouted food packed with vitamins, minerals and proteins. Use in raw food recipes and breakfast cereals. A healthy way to start your day.
V-TALITY bvba has just released a great new product for the healthy confectionery market, which looks set to be a popular choice with consumers. Made with only the purest ingredients, natural Xylitos® mints contain no sugar and no artificial sweeteners, flavours or colours. Backed by scientific research, Xylitos® products taste great and are an effective way to help prevent cavities. Contact us to find out more about our exciting range of unique xylitol products, including XyliGum®, our market-leading brand of delicious 100% xylitol chewing gum, and XyliBears®, the first 100% xylitol-sweetened gummy bears. Promise we won’t bite – much…
What on Earth
Tel: 0207720 4410
E-mail: [email protected]
Extending their appeal in the food service arena What on Earth have developed a range of truly scrumptious organic veggie burgers. These are currently available in 3flavours (with more in development): – «Mild Curried Chickpea Burger with fresh Coriander £22.50 case of 30 – Quinoa, Brazil Nuts and Red Pepper Burger seasoned with cumin, chili and ginger £35.10 case of 30 – Ancho Chile black bean Burger with fresh coriander £31.80 case of 30 All are freshly made in our kitchens using fabulous organic ingredients without artificial additives or colourings. They are supplied frozen in a case of 30 x 150g burgers. Please contact 020 7720 4410 for distribution information.
New to the market – vegan chilled coconut spread containing 21% coconut oil and rapeseed oil. Non-hydrogenated, soya free, no added flavourings. Enjoy as a spread on bread or use in baking as a replacement for margarine or butter. Suitable for vegans. Good source of Omega-3 Fatty Acid. Try Biona Organic Cocomega Coconut Spread as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.