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London: Meat-free gains momentum at The Natural Food Show

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

Whether it’s down to cost, health, animal welfare, environmental factors, or, more recently, labelling and contamination concerns, the meat-free market is continuing to gain sales as more and more consumers regularly reduce their meat intake, Diversified Business Communications reports. Retailers and buyers wishing to take advantage of this growing trend will find a host of innovative new vegan and vegetarian products for their customers at this year’s Natural Food Show, which returns to London’s Olympia on 7-8 April 2013. (Picture: The Natural Food Show 2012)

Spurred on by celebrity chef endorsements, greater menu choice when eating out, more new product developments and better visibility in supermarket aisles, there has been a notable shift in consumer attitudes towards going meat-free (if not wholly then in part) and an increased awareness of the benefits that following a more vegetable-based diet can offer. Ongoing revelations about the UK’s food supply chain aside, a 2012 study by research company Mintel estimated that the meat-free market in the UK, currently worth £634m (€733m), will reach £800m (€925m) by 2017. To cater for this demand, the search for natural alternatives to meat, poultry and fish products – as well as eggs, dairy, cheese and honey for vegans – remain a priority for many of the thousands of professional food and drink buyers that visit The Natural Food Show annually.
Paul Philbrow, trademark & business development officer at The Vegan Society, which will once again be hosting a pavilion at the event, explains: “Over half of British shoppers now consciously choose meat-free meals. The sector is innovating with inspiring world cuisines, and healthy, sustainable fruits and vegetables will find increasingly wide and diverse audiences in the years to come.” Vanessa Brown, head of corporate relations at The Vegetarian Society, whose website currently lists over 7500 vegetarian products, agrees: “There’s never been a better time to get into the meat-free sector. It’s all about giving consumers choice and value for money. There is a growing trend to avoid using the term vegetarian when referring to meat-free foods. The motivations for this are clear, but there are also dangers as the core market of vegetarians want to be sure that what they are eating is free from slaughter by-products, as well as more obvious animal ingredients. For example, a meat-free dish might well include Parmesan, but a vegetarian one should not.”

Supported by both the UK’s Vegetarian Society and The Vegan Society, the Natural Food Show features over 300 natural and organic exhibitors from all over the world; including a wealth of vegan, vegetarian and free-from producers (some of whom are also Halal and Kosher certified). This year’s attendees will see a host of names like vegetarian convenience food specialist Amy’s Kitchen; Essential Trading Co-operative – suppliers of brands like Dragonfly Foods’ 100% organic beany burgers; Gourmet Raw; and Germany’s Topas Klaus Gaiser, founders of the popular Wheaty brand, just to name a few. The full exhibitor list, with the possibility to search by products and services, is available here

The Natural Food Show


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