French delegates decided last month that vegetarian and vegan products for sale in France should no longer contain ‘meaty’ sounding names. Their reasoning was that such labels on plant-based products could confuse consumers.
Examples of terms that may no longer be used in France are: vegetarian sausages; meatless bacon; cashew cheese; and soy milk.
Also in a similar move in Germany, ‘soy milk’ must now be called ‘soy drink’.
Manufacturers who do not comply with this new regulation can expect fines of up to 300,000 euros.
French delegate Jean-Baptiste Moreau, a farmer himself, proposed this new scheme to better inform French consumers about their food. He said on Twitter: “It is important to take action against false statements: Our products must be correctly marked: the terms #cheese or #steak are reserved for products of animal origin!”
The control procedure has not yet been completed in France, but meanwhile a list of designations which may no longer be used in the future will be drawn up and published.
Interestingly, retail giant Tesco is set to launch a major new plant-based ‘steak’ in 400 stores across the UK. The product from Dutch manufacturer Vivera is described by its creators as being ‘barely distinguishable from real steak’ in its taste, texture, and smell.
Made from wheat and soy, and called ‘Vivera Plant Based Steak’ (pictured at the top), it will be available in Tesco from May 21. In June 2018, several large supermarket chains will follow in the Netherlands and from the second half of 2018 Vivera will also sell the product in other countries in Europe, starting with Germany, France and Italy.