The global vegan food market is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate of almost 10 percent to reach USD 24 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Million Insights. The rise in a number of vegan populations coupled with growing awareness about the health benefits of vegan food is the key factor driving the market.
Countries such as the United States, Canada, China, Ireland and U.K have a considerable number of vegan populations that in turn aid in the growth of the market.
The MENA region is not far from this global tendency as more health-conscious people are adopting veganism as a lifestyle. The growth in the number of shops that sell vegan products in the KSA, the UAE, Lebanon, and more countries in the region could nothing but assert that we will be witnessing more plant-based concepts rise.
HN spoke with Samer Chammaa, general manager of Nabat Organic, one of the leading organic food providers in Lebanon and the Middle East to highlight this trend.
Do you think vegan food is on a rise in the region and why?
Yes, we do. We believe it is part of the overall increase in awareness about the importance of healthy eating habits. It is also supported by the more communicated information regarding the negative effects of eating non pasteurized processed meat (and the overall long term effects of consuming un-natural, chemically processed foods).
Do you think MENA consumers clearly understand the difference between vegan and vegetarian food?
Not all of them do, there is still confusion among them just as there is still confusion in knowing the difference between natural, organic, and ‘baladi’ (rural) products (I give one example which makes me laugh: Organic Himalayan salt! Such a title is deceiving because Himalayan salt comes from rocks and is not organically planted and harvested. The situation is getting better over time as stakeholders in the healthy eating community share information to help raise awareness.
What is your (suppliers) role in raising awareness?
Raising consumer awareness is a key target of our marketing objectives. We constantly provide educational information through various channels, including but not limited to digital channels (i.e. social media), customer service team’s interactions with consumers, sales team interactions, exhibitions and local events are also very important factors.
Where do you see this industry in the coming years?
While several diets and trendy themes might rise then normalize over time (example keto diet is now booming, but might get replaced with something newer in a few years), we strongly believe that the overall increase in healthy eating and living healthy lifestyles is here to stay and will continue to grow over time.
What are your latest products?
Organic flours and baking aid product line, including gluten free and keto friendly items, organic keto and zero calorie sweeteners, as well as organic vegan soy protein.