Bountiful vegan choices!
With more consumers than ever purchasing vegan brands and ample innovation occurring within the category, there’s absolutely no reason for any retailer to have a lacklustre range. Here, we delve into the brands making a real name for themselves within this sector. Gillian Hamill reports
20 January 2023 | 0
A whopping 788% growth in plant-based alternative launches has occurred between 2017 and 2022. That’s according to a new report entitled ‘Attitudes towards Plant-based Alternatives: Ireland 2023’, published by Mintel.
“Proving value for money will be the key challenge for plant-based alternatives in 2022 and 2023 as cash-strapped consumers look to brands to justify extra costs,” says Brian O’Connor, senior consumer analyst at Mintel. “Health-boosting ingredients, sustainable credentials and convenience will be driving forces for the sector,”
While the majority of island of Ireland (IoI) consumers eat red meat/poultry, Mintel states that more than half of consumers have reduced/limited their meat consumption and are interested in doing so in the future.
A 2020 article by Kantar entitled ‘The Valuable Vegans: how Irish consumers are changing their eating habits’ also took a closer look at the vegans in the Republic of Ireland and what makes them an appetising audience.
Kantar’s TGI Consumer Data showed that 464,000 people (12.2% of the population) in the Republic of Ireland stated that they prefer to eat vegan food, almost an 8% increase from 431,000 the previous year. Looking further into those who agree that they prefer to eat vegan food, Kantar’s TGI Consumer Data revealed they are 71% more likely than the average adult to be aged 25-34 and 35% more likely to be 20-24. When it comes to shopping for vegan products, women are 28% more likely than the average adult to say that they purchase vegetarian/vegan ranges regularly, Kantar found.
Vegan versions of iconic treats
Irish fans of KitKat will now be able to take a plant-based break with the launch of KitKat V, a vegan version of the iconic treat. The launch follows a trial run in various markets that confirmed what social media users had been saying already: a vegan KitKat would be a hit!
The new KitKat V was developed by chocolate experts at Nestlé’s confectionery research and development centre in York, UK, the original home of KitKat. Combining Nestlé’s expertise in chocolate innovation and non-dairy alternatives, they replaced the milk in the original KitKat with a rice-based alternative, creating an indulgent-tasting vegan chocolate that beautifully balances the crispy wafer fingers.
Made with 100% sustainably sourced cocoa independently certified by Rainforest Alliance, KitKat V is certified vegan by the Vegan Society.
It’s not just KitKat which now offers a vegan alternative – Nestlé wants the Rowntree’s brand to be enjoyed by as many consumers as possible and has introduced vegan friendly recipes across the full range of Fruit Pastilles sweets. The new recipe is as deliciously chewy as it has always been, while at the same time being suitable for those following vegetarian, vegan and religious diets.
Other vegan friendly offerings from Nestlé Confectionery include Jelly Tots, Fruit Gums and Polo original.
Welcome to the Plant Age!
This Veganuary, get a taste for plant-based with Birds Eye Green Cuisine, the perfect brand for vegans, flexitarians and consumers who simply want to reduce meat intake in their family dinners.
With a wide range of options from Chicken-free Dippers to Meat-free Burgers and Fish-less Fingers, Birds Eye Green Cuisine is here to help with easy, simple swaps that don’t cost the earth.
Birds Eye Green Cuisine has kicked off Veganuary with its new ‘Welcome to the Plant Age’ campaign launched in January which focuses on making good food resolutions possible with a tasty and convenient selection of products. The 360 integrated campaign is strongly supported with TVC, VOD, social, digital content partnerships and influencers and through-the-line with vibrant instore POS. The comms relaunch ties in with a new look and feel for the brand which includes a pack redesign which has rolled out instore creating a colourful, simplified stand-out on shelf.
With a robust pipeline in place, integrated with exciting activity plans, there is a lot more to come for the Birds Eye Green Cuisine brand in 2023.
Rise of premium flavoured milks
Flavoured milks continue to grow in popularity. “The entire category has been supported by the trend for premiumisation in flavoured milks – this has brought new consumers to the category and helped wider growth,” says Gabriella Sudall, marketing manager NPD at FrieslandCampina UK.
“FrieslandCampina’s premium chocolate milk brand Chocomel has actually been adding new users to the category over the last year, proving that people are happy to pay more for indulgence that doesn’t break the bank,” she adds.
Indeed, premium milk drinks are a growing trend in flavoured milk, growing 51% year-on-year*.
“Chocomel is also versatile, enjoyable as enjoyed as an ice-cold refreshment in the summer months or consumed warm with a whipped cream topping as a comforting treat in the winter,” Sudall adds.
To build on a highly successful year for the brand, Chocomel will be launching a new plant-based variant in early 2023.
The plant-based drink has a cashew nut and pea milk formulation, offering the same chocolatey richness as the original with a 93% positive in advance taste tests.
Chocomel plant-based will be available in a one-litre tetra pack – a format ideal for sharing. In fact, since launching the one-litre format into convenience, Chocomel Original has seen sales reach £1.4m** and it is now the UK’s fastest growing premium milk drink***.
*(Source: IRI Infoscan, Total Market, Value Sales, non-Coffee & non-protein Flavoured Milks with PPL>£3, 52 w/e 1 Jan, 22)
**(Source: IRI Infoscan, Total Market, Value Sales, 52 w/e 1 Jan, 22)
***(Source: Over £1M, IRI Infoscan, Total Market, non-Coffee & non-protein Flavoured Milks with PPL>£3, 52 w/e 1 Jan, 22, Value % Growth vs YA)
Filthy Rich and fabulous!
This Veganuary, Ireland’s first range of fully plant-based protein shakes, Filthy Rich is making staying energised, nourished and satisfied easy with its new Coffee flavour; a tasty hit of 56mg caffeine, plant-based protein and vitamins all in one ready-to-drink shake.
In more good news, since 28 December onwards, Filthy Rich shakes (RRP €2.99) is now stocked in over 600 stores across the country, including in all 222 SuperValu stores and 380 Centra stores, Spar stores and independent retailers nationwide. You can also shop online from getfilthyrich.com.
Now available in three flavours, Vanilla, Cacao, and Coffee, Filthy Rich shakes are dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free and low in sugar. Each 330ml recyclable carton comes loaded with 20g of vegan pea protein, 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C, and 30% of the RDA for both magnesium and calcium.
Appearing on more and more shop shelves nationwide, including every SuperValu store, it’s “a landmark moment for a small Irish brand like ours,” according to owner Conor Palmer, who spent two years perfecting the drink, drink that “ticked all the boxes: high in protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals, low in sugar and full of flavour”.
Follow @get_filthyrich on Instagram for outdoor adventure inspiration.
Plant-based and delivering on taste
Started by husband-and-wife duo Rachel and Brian Nolan, and established as one of Ireland’s best loved homegrown brands, Nobó is now disrupting the entire confectionery category by bringing its ‘Creamiest Plant Based Chocolate’ into mainstream impulse and coffee adjacency.
With key listings going live across Junction 14, the Ennis Group and Tesco nationwide, the customer and consumer reaction since launch has been exceptional, validating that the demand and market opportunities are real.
Nobó’s new reimagined ‘Creamiest Plant Based Chocolate’ range includes a fresh new look and new formats including an impulse 25g bar,10g Nuffles and 80g bars.
The brand built its reputation on a belief that treats must deliver on taste and quality ingredients first and foremost, and Nobó has now developed a unique proposition with its ‘Creamiest Plant Based Chocolate’. Made with just five natural ingredients and with 50% less sugar than traditional milk chocolate, the full range is also packaged in an environmentally friendly compostable flow wrapper.
2022 also saw the opening of the Nobó Treathouse, the brand’s flagship store and cafe in Dublin 6. This was recently awarded Best Store Design at the IDI awards and is the heart and home of Nobó NPD.
For enquiries on stocking, contact email@example.com.
Wholesome ingredients are paramount
Irish plant-based brand Thanks Plants has an array of products which are great for Veganuary.
“We know from research that consumers are put off the market by the lengthy and unfamiliar ingredient lists; and the over-processing of meat alternatives,” says Dublin-based owner Aisling Cullen.
“Methyl cellulose, sodium alginate and red iron oxide aren’t ingredients that we normally find in our kitchen!
“At Thanks Plants, I developed the products in my own home kitchen using ingredients I’m familiar with; we add in cannellini beans, pearl barley, vegetables, herbs and spices to make our products as wholesome as possible, while still having a meaty taste and texture that consumers want,” Cullen adds.
“And given they are higher in protein than other brands, lower in saturated fat and salt, we have a strong rate of sale where stocked.
“From a buyer’s perspective our shelf life is 14-16 weeks, making Thanks Plants a low-risk way to broaden the penetration of plant-based sector.”
The Thanks Plants range includes a range of flavoured Sausages, the NoMoooo Burger, and the Everyday Roast. Products are stocked in Supervalu and Tesco nationwide, as well as good independent stores like Nourish, Fresh, Ardkeen, Nolans and select Spar stores in Dublin.
Kickstart your day the right way
As January is a time of year filled with new fitness regimes, diets and grand promises, why not kickstart the day the right way with Alpro No Sugars?
Now your customers can sip, pour or munch their way through a great breakfast. Because let’s be honest, healthier habits shouldn’t be big and scary. It should be as easy as incorporating Alpro No Sugars into everyone’s breakfast routine.
Alpro offers a range of delicious plant-based beverages, oat, almond, coconut and soya, which are available in both chilled and long-life formats. That’s not all, Alpro also offers plant-based alternatives to yoghurts which give shoppers tasty experiences that they love.
Alpro Plain No Sugars plant-based alternative to yogurt is rich in plant protein, super-versatile and all-round amazing.
Almonds; now, they’re the real divas of the nut world. Alpro Almond No Sugars plant-based drinks arrive sun-kissed from the Mediterranean, demanding VIP treatment! They’re roasted, ever so gently. It’s the best way to keep them delicious; no sugars or sweeteners required, thank you very much. Just a delicate, creamy taste that’s good for the planet and ‘Good for You’*.
*(Source of calcium. Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones. A varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are recommended for good health.)
Alpro Almond No Sugars plant-based drinks contain no sugars nor sweeteners.
Animal burgers, made from plants
A downward hog, a cow busting a moove and a hen party all star in a new eye-catching ad campaign.
Dublin vegan restaurant, V-Face, rolled out the fun new ad campaign to mark Veganuary.
Sarah Boland, managing director of V-Face says she hopes to welcome everyone through the doors of her restaurant in Stoneybatter this Veganuary and beyond. Boland believes that eating vegan can be fun, tasty, and easy, and the new advertising campaign reflects that.
Instead of using vegan advertising’s typical shock tactics to dissuade meat consumption, the new campaign by The Public House takes a more light-hearted approach, imagining what animals get up to in their free time when you give them a break and choose a vegan alternative to your typical hot dogs, burgers, and wings.
Indeed, the V-Face experience can be summed up in the tagline “Animal burgers, made from plants”. The restaurant’s menu is 100% vegan and serves everything from hot dogs to a vegan take on the Big Mac and cauliflower wings. It has toasties, loaded fries, salad bowls, homemade cookies and soya milkshakes to boot.
Lip-smacking, plant-snacking for all
Forest Feast, the ‘Original Snack Explorers’, known for the brand’s innovative hand-crafted and batch-made snacks has just launched an exciting new range.
The new Nutm!lk chocolate snacks bring together decades of fruit, nut and snacking know-how to create legendary tasting chocolate that is 100% plant-based with 30% less sugar. No cows involved, instead Forest Feast uses smooth and creamy almond milk, cocoa beans and vanilla, for natural nutty niceness for all to enjoy.
The range is palm oil free with no nasties and no gluten, all in recyclable packaging and eye-catching shelf-ready boxes.
The line-up includes the following options available in 6x110g share bags and 12x35g impulse:
- Nutm!lk ChocoCorn: Roasted corn coated in Nutm!lk chocolate, made with cocoa beans blended with almond. (Vg, GF)
- Nutm!lk ChocoPeanuts– Peanuts coated in Nutm!lk chocolate, made with cocoa beans blended with almond. (Vg, GF, Non-HFSS)
- Nutm!lk ChocoRaisins– Raisins coated in Nutm!lk chocolate, made with cocoa beans blended with almond. (Vg, GF, Non-HFSS)
Available in 6x100g share bags:
- Nutm!lk ChocoMix– Roasted peanuts, roasted corn and raisins coated in Nutm!lk chocolate, made with cocoa beans blended with almond. (Vg, GF)
Available now: contact Forest Feast to stock up.
Plentiful plant-based breakfast
The Rudd’s brand has long stood for breaking ground within the artisan food world in Ireland. In 1973, Rudd’s embarked on a culinary adventure and the creativity continues to this day. Rudd’s has recently revealed a new look, giving the brand a more modern refreshed feel, as well as an updated range of products to meet all customer needs.
Rudd’s Plantiful offers Sausages and Puddings, but plant-based. Rudd’s has turned the tables on the traditional breakfast and made it meat free and totally vegan. Rudd’s is Ireland’s only brand to offer a full range of plant-based breakfast meats.