Australian plant-based meat leader v2food is diversifying its range with ready meals to offer consumers fast and convenient access to prepared vegan dishes. The company is debuting four options including spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, penne bake and chilli con carne. The move marks v2food’s fourth round of innovation, following on from its beef mince and burgers, sausages, pork mince and chicken line.
The company cites a rise in appetites for convenience foods as a motivating factor in developing the ready meals. The trend has been confirmed by an increase in meal kit orders, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Recipes were chosen according to classic appeal and given an animal-free twist with v2food’s plant-based meat.
Making a sustainable switch
V2food claims that if an Australian family of four switched from one beef-based meal to its bolognese once a week, the annual greenhouse gas emissions savings would be significant. A comparable example of driving a car 15,000km is given to amplify the point. Key to families taking up the challenge of eating plant-based is making the switch as simple as possible.
“v2food is committed to making it easier for everyone to eat sustainably more often, Nick Hazell, CEO and founder of v2food said in a statement. “We are not asking every Aussie to become vegan, instead, we’re encouraging them to switch to more plant-based meals. However, we understand there are barriers, with people hesitant to do so because of not knowing how to prepare or cook plant-based meats.”
The new ready meal range has been picked up by Woolworths. Nationwide rollout has been initiated with 1,081 ready to stock the dishes, designed to become ‘midweek go-to’s’.
“The launch of ready-made meals, which are already loved family dishes, give us an opportunity to cut through this uncertainty and make it easier than ever for people to give it a go. With the same great taste as the meat equivalents, Aussies can enjoy their favourite meals, while doing good for the planet.”
The planetary beef with conventional meat
New data recently revealed that swapping 20 percent of all beef consumed globally for a sustainable alternative could effectively halve deforestation within 30 years. Additionally, Global carbon emissions could be halved by 2050. The research was published in the scientific journal Nature and specifically cited microbial protein as a viable alternative.
In addition to carbon, methane emissions would be drastically reduced, which have been highlighted as being more potent and produced in high volumes due to the continued farming of livestock.
Targeting eating habits
V2food assesses consumer trends to steer its developments. Just as its new ready meals have been created in response to a rise in convenience eating, its pork analogue was finalised with the Asian market firmly in mind, allowing for APAC expansion. Prior to the prepared dishes now launching, chicken alternatives were designed to tap into national eating habits.
Chicken is hugely popular in Australia. Per capita, it’s estimated that 45 kilos a year are consumed. In a bid to help the country embrace plant-based alternatives, v2food revealed three alternative poultry products: tenders, schnitzels and nuggets. The reveal came in March, with a rollout expected this month.
Australia opening up to vegan foods
The Australian plant-based market is predicted to reach $9 billion by 2030, due to shifting mindsets and growing consumer acceptance. As new products continue to launch, including Get Plant’d throughout Coles locations, understanding the move will prove vital for companies looking to tap into the trend.
Taste and nutrition giant Kerry has published research that demonstrates what Australian consumers are looking for, particularly in plant-based burgers. The benchmark was revealed to be “beef but better”, giving manufacturers and brands key insights into how they can secure repeat custom.
All photos by v2food.