More vegetarian products on the way as environment and sustainability characterise year’s food news

Photo: Fredrik Hagen / NTB scanpix

Words like vegetarian, vegan, sugar reduction, plant-based, environment and sustainability are used to describe the trends of the new food products that soon reach store shelves.

Cuts in meat and sugar have already characterized the headlines in 2019 as a result of the EAT-Lancet report, stating that a huge shift is needed in the global diet.

Norwegian food producers follow the same path when they soon roll out new products in the stores.

‘’In 2019, the environment and sustainability are the major food trend, and naturally, many of the year’s launches are inspired by this. It’s about everything from wrapping to content. We see in
particular that there are more meat-free alternatives and more plant-based foods’’ said JohanneKjuus, responsible for sustainability at Orkla Foods, who presented some of the products on Monday.

Kjuus believes that consumers increasingly choose food based on its environmental footprint. The trend with more vegetarian products is already well underway, but nothing suggests it will stop.

‘’The products we have launched until now have been received quite well, but we see that we have narrowed ourselves too much towards those who experience themselves as pure vegans or vegetarians, which is a little too small a consumer group. Therefore, we try to make plant-based products that hit the man and the woman in the street, and not just those with special interests’’ she told NTB news.

Interesting

Communication adviser, Mimmi Granli, of Tine, also pointed out that the proportion of pure vegans or vegetarians is relatively small. Nevertheless, the company is investing heavily in vegetarian and plant-based products this year.

‘’It’s very interesting. Only 2–3% of the population consider themselves vegetarian or vegan, yet these goods are very important for all the big producers. That’s because the market is growing rapidly’’ she said.

She highlights the EAT-Lancet report as an example of how topical and far-reaching sustainability is in the awareness of many consumers.

‘’At the same time, the Health Directorate recommends limiting the intake of meat. One of the main reasons why people choose more plant-based food is probably simply that they want to get more vegetables and to follow the dietary advice’’ she said.

Challenging

Senior Consultant, John Spilling, of Ipsos is responsible for Norway’s most well-known trend survey in food: Norwegian Food Facts. He pointed out that copying the taste and eating experience of meat is challenging.

‘’It is very difficult to create substitutes for meat. The challenge is to create something that regular people like to eat. Those who succeed with that will make it big’’ he said.

He also noted that the environment and sustainability movement are a sign of the times.

“Not wasting food has also become part of the environmental focus, so there is also increased focus on durability, and things that must not be thrown away too early” he said.

Plant based

This year, Tine launches a number of new products that respond to the trends, including meat substitutes in the form of burgers, buns and dough, based on Norwegian cheese and vegetables.In addition, there are two new oat based drinks and several products with reduced sugar content.

‘’From before, we have created a plant-based alternative to cream that has become very popular’’ said Mimmi Granli.

The so-called “launch window” is determined by the store chains and starts in week eight. From Monday, February 18, most stores will have the new products in place.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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