Round up

Veganuary NPD round up

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Manufacturers have unveiled a range of new products in time for 'Veganuary'
Manufacturers have unveiled a range of new products in time for 'Veganuary'

Related tags plant-based

Several food manufacturers have launched new vegan products to mark ‘Veganuary’ 2024.

Taking place every January, the initiative was designed by the non-profit organisation Veganuary in order to encourage more people to experiment with a vegan diet.

Below, Food Manufacture rounds up launches from prominent producers to mark this year's event.

VFC unveils new Chick*n SKUs

Meat-free manufacturer VFC Foods has launched four new Chick*n products to mark the start of ‘Veganuary’.

The ‘One Bag’ range includes two frozen ready meal products, Chick*n fried rice and Chick*n curry, while VFC has also unveiled its chilled Chick*n mince and Chick*n sausages. All the products are gluten free, high in protein and plant-based.

The launch comes after a significant year for VFC which saw the brand acquire Meatless Farm and Clive’s Purely Plants​, two fellow plant-based manufacturers. Based in North Yorkshire, the brand was founded in 2020 by Matthew Glover and Adam Lyons.

Reflecting on the announcement, VFC head of marketing Alison Reilly said: "Delivering on taste, health and convenience is fundamental to converting more people into meat-free alternatives. Our new VFC One Bag range, chilled Chick*n sausages and mince bring all these benefits to the table, appealing to a broader target consumer base across new meal occasions​.”

The fried rice is available now in Sainsbury’s and Morrisons stores, while the curry is only available at Morrisons. Meanwhile, the sausages and mince will hit the chilled aisle at Asda supermarkets later this week.

SHICKEN teriyaki skewers launched in the UK

Family-owned vegan food manufacturer SHICKEN has launched its new Teriyaki Kebab Skewer in the UK.

Available now at Costco stores in the UK, the 960g SKUs are on sale for £9.99. SHICKEN first launched products with Costco UK in 2021 and now operates a £1m manufacturing plant in Kent.

Founded by husband-and-wife duo, Parm and Satvinder Bains, the firm has received £2m in investment from VegCapital. Its product range includes the award-winning Tikka Kebab Skewers, as well as its Tikka Masala Curry, Jalfrezi Curry, Butter Curry and Basmati Rice.

SHICKEN products are developed with a blend of soya, wheat and pea proteins, and its owners are now eyeing expansion around the world.

Parm Bains described the increased footprint in Costco UK stores as a “huge step​” for the manufacturer.

SHICKEN is all about bringing some of the nation’s favourite world food cuisines into a convenient, sustainable plant-based offer, without compromising on restaurant quality authentic taste​,” Bains added.

We are incredibly excited to take SHICKEN into Pan-Asian cuisine with our new Teriyaki Kebab Skewers and we can’t wait to share the incredible NPD we have in store later this year​.”

Better Nature launches new smoky tempeh product

UK-based tempeh brand Better Nature has launched a new Smoky Tempeh product that will be rolled out in stores this month (January 2024).

Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh is natural and protein-rich, originating from Indonesia. Currently, Better Nature products are available in Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Whole Foods Market and Planet Organic.

The new Smoky Tempeh packs, sold at £3.29, join the brand’s product line up of Original Tempeh and Tempeh Pieces (available in three different flavours). Seasoned with smoked salt, the Smoky Tempeh can be cooked in minutes.

Christopher Kong, chief executive at Better Nature, said the brand was “leading the charge​” in the development of meat-free products.

Our new Smoky Tempeh is a great addition to the range, catering to growing demand for flavoursome, plant-based wholefoods that are super versatile and easy to cook with​,” Kong added.

Meanwhile, Elin Roberts, CMO and co-founder of Better Nature, commented: “Shoppers are increasingly aware of Ultra Processed Foods and are put off by long and unrecognisable ingredient lists. What they want instead are veg-packed, wholefood, planet-friendly options.

“The tide is turning for meat-free, and nutritious, sustainable, whole foods like tempeh offer a real opportunity to fuel category growth as we head into Veganuary and beyond.”

THIS marks Veganuary with two new products

Plant-based meat alternatives producer THIS has launched two new supermarket products to mark Veganuary.

Available in Tesco now exclusively, THIS Isn’t Chicken Breast (180g pack of two) is sold at £3.50, while from January 8, 280g frozen packs of THIS Isn’t Beef Mince exclusively launch into Morrisons at £3 per pack.

The plant-based chicken is high in protein and made using soy and pea proteins, and the plant-based beef is made from soya protein. Following the success of the chilled mince format, it was reformulated to be suitable for frozen.

Andy Shovel, co-founder of THIS, commented: “If you haven’t already set yourself a new years resolution - get yourself down to Tesco and Morrisons this January and stock up on THIS.

"Veganuary is a fantastic initiative that every year gets loads of people to try a plant-based lifestyle and we’re all for making lifestyles even more delicious, this year by unveiling our THIS Isn’t chicken breasts and frozen THIS Isn’t beef mince​.”

Walkers unveils three vegan flavours

Crisps manufacturer Walkers has launched three new vegan flavours that aim to appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike.

Dubbed the Unbelievable! range, Walkers has launched the following flavours: Flame Grilled Steak, BBQ Pork Ribs and Grilled Cheese Toastie.

Packs are available now in supermarkets across the UK, with the manufacturer running a promotion alongside that gives customers the chance to win £2,500.

Rachael Smith, senior marketing manager at Walkers, said that the new launch signals the brand's "commitment to continue to offer choice to consumers".

Smith continued: "We always strive to ensure shoppers don’t have to compromise on taste when making a dietary choice. You honestly won’t believe they’re vegan."

In other news, snack producer Calbee UK has announced a recent investment at its plant in Deeside, Wales.

Related topics NPD Proteins, non-dairy Plant-Based

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