Happy World Vegetarian Day everyone!
Whilst veganism seems to be the watchword of the day, vegetarianism is still a popular and mainstream avenue that many are continuing to choose for the good of their health and the planet. The ongoing popularity of flexitarianism, where you eat more fruit and veg and less red meat, also means that vegetarian options are still a modern must for restaurants and retailers alike.
2% of adults and children are vegetarian (not eating meat or fish), which amounts to over 1.2 million individuals of a UK population of 62.3 million. (National Diet and Nutrition Survey, 2012; Office for National Statistics); with the meat-free and free-from food markets reached an estimated total of £949 million in 2012 (Mintel ‘Meat-free and Free-from foods’ 2012).
One major area of development has been the use of eggs, which can be part of a healthy vegetarian lifestyle but unavailable as part of a vegan diet. With protein inclusions following consumer demand and snacking taking over from traditional set meal times, eggs are not going to be left behind in this modern way of eating!
Egg whites are being used as an alternative to crisps and crackers, by being baked with cassava flour which creates a crispy texture and boasts 5g of protein per serving. Lesser Evil’s range includes egg and cheese, Himalayan pink salt, and huevos rancheros flavours – picking up the flavour fans and protein snackers in one fell swoop.
Eggs are also being included in the already popular category of snack bars, where consumers are looking for cleaner labels filled with ingredients they recognise and trust. Egg whites and yolks have been used by the likes of Epic Provisions and Oskri as part of their healthy snack bar ranges, replacing other protein powders that consumers may not recognise or trust.
Just Crack An Egg have launched a range of egg pots designed for consumers after a hot breakfast with flavour and quick cooking times. The range includes a Southwest Scramble with chorizo, Monterey Jack Cheese, potatoes, tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and onions; alongside Protein Packed and Veggie Scramble flavours.
Another ingredient getting attention in the veggie community is the humble mushroom. Mushrooms, whilst not the new kids on the block, are enjoying a spike in popularity, with an increasing number of consumers choosing to reduce their meat consumption whilst searching for an ingredient rich in protein with a meaty taste and texture – boxes the humble mushroom ticks. Mushrooms are also experiencing a stint as a pseudo-superfood with beauty and energy claims, despite the lack of strictly scientific research backing up these claims.
One of the more popular ways mushrooms have been recently used in the industry is jerky, which has branched put into mushrooms whilst using similar marinades and flavours to established meat alternatives such as applewood barbeque and honey, with ‘meatier’ mushrooms such as shiitake and portabella being used to satiate snackers demand for meatlike texture and taste.
Burgers are also another area where mushrooms have branched (or sprouted into), where their meaty taste and protein content credentials make it a fantastic accompaniment with beef or as a stand alone main ingredient. Byron’s flexitarian burger has a mushroom/beef blend; with Leep Foods about to launch a burger made from coral maitake and blue oyster mushrooms blended with grass fed beef. The American Mushroom Council has even launched the Blenditarain Burger Project to encourage home cooks and restaurant chefs to create burgers blended with mushrooms!
Health powders containing mushrooms have also seen an increase in interest – according to Pinterest, at the start of 2019 superfood powders have had a 144% year-on-year spike in searches, and interest in mushrooms, in particular, is up 46%. Gaia and Laird Superfood brands have used exotic mushrooms such as cordyceps and lion’s mane due to claims of ‘adaptogenic’ (herbal medicine) benefits and health functions – despite the fact these claims have not been backed up with scientific study.
So it seems to go without saying that the popularity of going veggie is going from strength to strength – with all the flavour and innovation to match!
Give us a call to discuss your vegetarian and vegan requirements today! You can contact us:
- By calling 01529 305000.
- Emailing us at email@example.com.
- Talking to us on our Live Chat function at sleafordqf.com
We would love to hear from you!