Vegan snacks for a greener hospitality industry

Vegan snacks for a greener hospitality industry

Vera Oswald from Vegconomist discusses the latest trends in vegetable snacks.

As veganism gains importance in the food industry, so too do vegan snacks. Vegan snacks are entirely devoid of animal products, such as honey, dairy and eggs. They are mainly plant based with ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, legumes or grain. With customers’ increased awareness of their food choices and environmental impact, vegan snacks have become a delicious and sustainable alternative to traditional snacks.

Vegan baked goods, such as muffins and cookies, and savory snacks, like chips and nuts, are not only available in supermarkets, health food stores and online retailers, but they are also available at wholesalers and suppliers that cater to large-scale consumers in gastronomy and foodservices.

Plant-based and vegan food and beverage are seeing double-digit growth. Globally, launches are rising at CAGRs of over 35 percent for plant based and more than 16 percent vegan, which goes to show that consumers are more than even open to plant-based products. However, 56 percent of consumers complain of a lack of plant-based meals in restaurants (Innova Market Insights, 2022). It is wise to keep in mind that the majority of the demand for vegan products comes from flexitarians and meat reducers, not vegans or vegetarians.

By providing tasty, sustainable and vegetable-rich snacks to a wide number of clients, the hospitality sector would be satisfying greater demand.

Some aspects should be considered to take full advantage of the potential of a plant-based offer:

Taste is king
Plant-based snacks must be superior or equal in quality and taste to meat options.

Price is crucial
Because of the current crises, consumers have become price sensitive as they find it increasingly difficult to spend additional money on plant-based substitutes. Cross-subsidization is one way to pay for increased costs associated with the plant-based range. From the end of 2022, IKEA has set the standard by selling its most popular plant-based foods at the same price and even cheaper than animal-based products. (Vegconomist)

The demand for healthier snacks, with fewer sugar sweets and better nutritional value, make plant-based their go-to snacks as they are often lower in saturated fats and cholesterol, and higher in fiber, vitamins and minerals. A vegan snack can be made healthier than animal-based alternatives, helping customers maintain a healthier diet.

Vegan snacks are often more sustainable than traditional snacks, helping businesses reduce their environmental footprint and to meet their sustainability goals.

Plant-based treats are a great way to accommodate customers with dietary restrictions. For instance, vegan snacks are meat, egg and lactose free, which meets the demand of flexitarians and vegans as well as can be designed beneficial for those with food allergies or religious eating habits. It is often the people with special dietary needs who decide where large groups go to eat.

Vegan options should be communicated as an option for everyone and placed accordingly on the menu and promoted in customer communications. Transparent labeling of vegan options is good, at the same time it is to consider whether an eye-catching vegan label is actually appreciated by the target group.

Suppliers should make plant-based products the most appealing and simple option. The popularity of vegetarianism and flexitarian eating patterns will only increase with time, as will the need for plant-based snacks.

Vera Oswald,

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