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The Vegetarian and Vegan markets are exploding – are you ready for the opportunity?

It’s official – vegetarianism and veganism have gone mainstream.  With concerns over animal welfare, sustainability and personal health intensifying, the number of vegansin the UK is growing dramatically.  In May 2016, an Ipsos Mori poll of 10,000 people commissioned by the Vegan Society found that the vegan population in Britain was 3.5 times larger than 10 years previously having grown from 150,000 to 542,000.  In the two years following, analysists speculate that this number could have doubled again.  This does not take into account the corresponding growth in vegetarianism and other meat reduction lifestyles such as flexitarianism and reducetarianism which opens up the market for vegetarian and vegan style products to millions more consumers.  With campaigns such as “Vegan January” growing annually*, and a huge momentum being maintained on social media and online, the predictions for continued growth are strong.

Already, there has been an explosion in the demand for meat-free, plant-based products.

The high street has reacted quickly.  Most, if not all, of the major supermarkets now offer meat free ranges that are expanding week-on-week. Vegan choices are appearing on menus everywhere from Pret a Manger, to Pizza Hut and Michelin starred restaurants.

What of the food manufacturer?  How well placed are you to take advantage of this growing demand from retail, restaurants, schools, hospitals and other foodservice outlets?

The opportunity is great, but the challenge is not to be underestimated.  This is a market of well-informed, demanding consumers for whom creativity, innovation and above all taste and texture is key.  There is no room for the bland, dry, crumbling veggie burger of old.

Meeting these standards can present tough technical challenges for the food manufacturer and this is where Andina Ingham can help.  For many years now, we have partnered with a global leader in texture solutions, Hydrosol GmbH, and through this partnership we are able to offer our customers unique and customised stabilising systems for binding and improving texture and moisture in vegan and vegetarian products.

The systems are known as HydroTOP and includes a range of options to suit the food manufacturer’s specific needs.  This may be, for example, the production of alternatives to traditional meat products, such as sausages and hot dogs with the sought-after texture of conventional meat products.  Or the development of entirely vegetable based products with superior texture, moisture and cooking qualities. The systems combine a range of emulsifying and stabilising components that may include vegetable fibres and cellulose based ingredients.  They also allow for the avoidance of allergens such as soya.

The following declarations are possible:

Vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal

Free From: meat, phosphates, dairy, gluten and egg

We are currently seeing great results from the use of HydroTOP products, producing vegan and vegetarian burgers and sausageswith superior taste, texture and preparation performance.

As the sole UK agent for Hydrosol GmbH products, Andina Ingham also has an extensive range of products for use in the development of vegan alternatives to dairy products such as vegan cheeses, yogurts, cream and ice-cream. We combine this with the offer of strong technical support to our customers who can benefit from our in-house expertise and from access to our partners’ state-of-the-art laboratories and pilot plant facilities where end products can be tested prior to launch.

We should also mention that Andina Ingham is a leading supplier of select fruits, vegetables and pulses in a variety of formats including canned, frozen and aseptic to complete your vegetarian/vegan offering.

If you would like to learn more about how to make this opportunity in the vegan/vegetarian market work for you, then please contact our technical department:

[email protected]

Or give us a call on: 01732 453 333

*Number of official on-line sign-ups to Vegan January:

2014 – 3,300

2016 – 23,000

2017 – 59,500

2018 – 168,000

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