This is the second of the annual Dairy Free Awards, which highlight and showcase the best of New Zealand’s available plant-based dairy alternatives. The awards cover six categories of products: ice cream, cheese, milk, yoghurt, chocolate and butter – all fully plant-based, high quality, delicious and nutritious. No one needs to go without their favourite foods anymore, as the plant-based market keeps on developing new and better products and growing exponentially.
Waikato-based Duck Island claimed both winner and runner up in the ice cream category. Manufacturing allergen-free ice cream desserts has been their passion since 2015 and with their extensive range of flavours they were runaway favourites with Vegan Society members.
Angel Food kept their winning streak from last year, as once again their cheddar and cream cheese took the top awards. The nation’s favourite plant-based milk is officially Otis, the oat milk hoping to open a new manufacturing plant in Invercargill soon.
“It’s wonderful to see the increasing number of dairy-free products out there, proving the market is booming and the public’s appetite for plant-based is growing. Our awards set a high bar for companies to step up to, providing quality Kiwi products available to all,” said Claire Insley, media spokesperson for the Vegan Society. “The companies receive acknowledgement for their hard work, vegans know they can trust the winning companies and it takes the guesswork out of it for those dealing with allergies and non-vegans looking to reduce their dairy intake.”
Popular brand Raglan claimed the winner’s award for yoghurt, with their amazing Boysenberry coconut-based yoghurt.
The chocolate award goes to the nation’s oldest and most loved manufacturer, Whittakers, with their Hawkes Bay Plum and Almond artisan collection bar and the standard Almond dark being the runner up.
Finally, the butter award was scooped up by newcomers Vutter, whose vegan block is ideal for replacing butter in almost any recipe. Perfect for those with dairy allergies or who are trying to reduce their cholesterol.
The awards also cover imported products though the voting shows that Kiwis overwhelmingly support locally produced foods.
“With the Climate Change Commission’s report out now, it is clear that we have to act now to mitigate our carbon emissions. Eating plant-based meals can reduce your carbon footprint due to food by up to 73%, so there is no better time to do your bit for our planet and make the switch in FebNoDairy,” says Insley. The Vegan Society offers resources for those wishing to take up plant-based eating to help the environment, improve their health and show compassion for the animals.
For the full awards results check out https://www.vegansociety.org.nz/awards/dairy-free/results