Interfood Technology is an award-winning supplier of equipment to the food processing industry and has been serving the UK and Irish food sector for almost 20 years. As such, the company is well placed to recognise and respond to emerging trends.
Mark Bishop, Joint Managing Director of Interfood, has written an article in which he considers the role that vegetarian and vegan products are now playing in meeting the demands from consumers.
He cites many of the statistics relating to both vegetarian and meat products and the importance of viewing such figures in the context of the food processing industry as a whole. There is undoubtedly a growth in consumers looking at meat alternatives but how does this growth sit in relation to the meat industry itself and the fact that it too continues to grow? And, importantly, what opportunities does this represent?
He identifies the crucial factors in new product development to capture the opportunities as vegetarians, vegans and those who are looking to reduce their intake of red meat search for innovations which can offer the tastiness and texture of meat. He draws on his own experience of a tasting session in which the technology employed offered significant advances in replicating in plant-based products the characteristics which ensure that meat remains a staple in the vast majority of the nation’s shopping trolleys.