There will be a continued boom in plant-based products, especially in new markets such as vegan cheese, says the Vegan Society Aotearoa New Zealand.

2021 saw the first Vegan Cheese Awards, featuring NZ made plant-based cheeses from all over the country. Many producers are using their previous dairy cheese-making skills to apply to nut-based cheeses, producing a range of delicious new ways to enjoy the taste of cheese.

Precision fermentation is a new technology to this market, that will really change the game. With the ability to produce taste and texture dairy identical proteins, some economists are predicting the end of the dairy industry by 2030, suggesting that dairy from animals is simply too resource-heavy to continue.

Plant-based products continue to grow in popularity and supermarkets are making new shelf space for them.

Currently there is no legislation around the use of the word plant-based, and companies who have used it, are changing their formulas to become 100% plant-based. This year could see such legislation brought in.

So many big companies are now making vegan or plant-based versions of all kinds of foods, from brownies, to meringues; sausages and burgers to soups and pizzas. There are so many ways to veganise popular fare, that the only limit is your imagination. Fast food chains have also been working on vegan options and more are in the offing, vegan KFC and McDonald’s are sure to hit NZ this year.

“There’s never been a better time to try vegan,” Vegan Society media spokesperson Claire Insley said, “with over 600,000 people globally taking the vegan pledge last year and almost a third of Kiwis trying to reduce their intake of animal products, the future really is vegan. There is so much support from the supermarkets, cafes and restaurants (even during Covid restrictions), local markets too are seeing an increase in vegan options. This is a trend that will only continue, as plant-based foods use only a sixth of the resources of animal products.”

More about the Vegan Society Aotearoa New Zealand

The Vegan Society supports and facilitates a vegan lifestyle and plant-based eating by creating a vibrant, visible and influential community, and by providing resources and information.

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