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Vegan trends put pressure on mainstream marketplace in South Africa

More South Africans are making the transition to a vegan diet. This has led to a definite increase in the demand for vegan food products. Embracing the vegan community is regarded as making good business sense.

SARAH SMIT: ‘“Dairy-free, cheddar-flavoured cheese.” This particular combination of words might not sound appealing to the average South African, but to some vegans its allure is undeniable. Over the past few years, and particularly in recent months, Woolworths has been populating its shelves with products like this: vegan alternatives to conventional food items. For these items to be considered vegan, they must not contain any animal products — no dairy, no eggs, no honey.

There is little data on veganism in South Africa, but Woolworths says its decision to offer these products has to do with “a shift in customers’ habits towards a plant-based way of eating”. “As with any new product range, we always consider local and global trends as well as customer feedback to inform new product development,” said Richard Stockley, head of innovation for Woolworths food.

Veganism is certainly trending. New York-based restaurant consultancy group Baum + Whiteman forecast that “plant-based” would be the number-one food trend of 2018. Anna Jordan, the director of the South African Vegan Society, agrees that more South Africans are making the transition to a vegan diet. This has led to a definite increase in the demand for vegan food products in recent years, she said. Embracing the vegan community is regarded as making good business sense’. SOURCE…

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