Plant-based eating is the biggest worldwide food shift of this decade, particularly in Australia. With nearly 10 million Aussies cutting back on red meat, this trend shows no signs of slowing down. 

According to Google Trends, Australia tops the world for searching “vegan” online. In February 2004, “vegan” queries hovered at 15 (out of 100); but now sits at 92 and has steadily risen for 14 years. 

This year, why not encourage a plant-based lifestyle by promoting Meat Free Week? 

meat free week australia

Meat Free Week (23-29 September) challenges participants to try a plant-based menu for seven days and raise funds for a great cause.

Going meat free for one week creates a great opportunity for your customers to start thinking about how much meat they eat and the potential health impacts of eating too much. 

Studies conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund show bowel cancer risk increases by 12% per 100g of red meat consumed per day and that bowel cancer risk increases by 16% per 50g of processed meat consumed per day.

Whether your customers are meat eaters, vegetarian or vegan, the Meat Free Week challenge can help them discover how easy it is to make little changes that can create a big difference, including some delicious plant-based recipes! 

So why not highlight some of your plant-based meat alternatives front and centre this month?

One of the most versatile, meat-style vegan products comes from the widely recognised US brand, Upton’s Naturals.  

Upton’s Naturals was the first to market with a range of heat-and-eat, pre-seasoned Jackfruit. Jackfruit are the world’s largest tree-borne fruit, and when harvested young and unripe, they can be prepared savory, as a meat alternative. With a naturally meaty texture, this whole food meat alternative makes a simple swap for pulled pork, shredded poultry, and even fish.

They currently offer three lines in Australia – Jackfruit, Real Meal Kits and Ch’eesy Macs. Consumers love eating the Bar-B-Que Jackfruit on a bun with coleslaw, or using the spicy Chilli Lime for tacos.

Original, unseasoned Jackfruit provides a blank slate for the more experienced cook, while Thai Curry, Sweet and Smoky, and Sriracha are meant to inspire those who are new to this unique ingredient.

While the products are shelf-stable, they’re most successfully merchandised in the fridge with other refrigerated meat alternatives.

uptons naturals

The company’s Real Meal Kits feature wholefood ingredients and come in four Thai-inspired varieties: Massaman Curry, Pad See Ew, Thai Spaghetti, and Thai Curry Noodle. Each complete meal is ready in just a few minutes, and can be prepared on the stove top or in the microwave – simply mix the pouches, and heat.

Despite containing no preservatives, these meals are shelf-stable, and are generally sold alongside other Asian meal kits, or quick meal kits.

uptons ch'eesy mac

Another quick-cooking vegan line from Upton’s Naturals are the Ch’eesy Mac varieties – Ch’eesy Bacon Mac and original Ch’eesy Mac. The packages contain ready-to-eat large and ridged macaroni noodles alongside a pouch of prepared nutritional yeast-based cheese.

These 100% vegan products are low in sugar while being completely free from nuts, dairy, oil, trans fat, cholesterol, GMOs and artificial flavours. Typically found with other boxed mac and cheese in stores, these are ready to eat in as little as 60 seconds. 

Other great plant-based pantry staples for easy, meat-free meals include: 

Make sure you’re ready for the increase in demand from September 23rd! Top up your plant-based meat alternatives and more via our online store or give one of our friendly sales team members a call on 1800 787 904. Not yet registered? Create an account here.

For recipe inspiration to give your customers, visit Meat Free Week or try some of these delicious Upton’s Naturals recipes at an in-store tasting!

Generating Sales For Every Generation


While general research suggests that the younger generations are the prime target for health food purchases and are willing to pay more for such foods, it doesn’t mean you throw the towel in on sales from Generation X, Baby Boomers or the Silent Generation.

Learning more about the wants of each generation can help you increase your market knowledge and therefore understand how and what to sell to each target group. Below we’ve taken a closer look at each generation’s purchase decision barriers with healthy food and where they place their importance in the category.



30% of Generation Z see healthy food products as very important and 31% are very willing to pay a premium price for them.

These consumers are not fond of the ‘one-stop-shop’ concept and will shop at several locations for specific goods.

41% are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products and 37% for gluten free products.

Offer in store tastings of gluten free, sustainable products to get them in store and to increase their purchases, merchandise companion products together.

Generation Z - Products



Millennials, these are the consumers that are changing food as we know it and driving demand for natural healthy foods. They are willing to pay a premium for such products and their focus is on quality over price.

This consumer group have a strong need for simplicity and transparency with their food choices.

90% of this group use social media with a third saying it’s their preferred means of communication with a business. This consumer group are particularly interested in specialty foods with specific attributes, such as organic or natural.

Use social media to create hype around the organic and natural products you stock.

Generation Millennials- Products



For Generation X healthy attributes as very important and 50% of these consumers will read the nutritional panel before they purchase.

74% are not willing to pay a premium for products that offer healthy attributes.

With a third of this group wanting to cook more and 63% of Generation X females express they have a love for cooking, products that nurture this will help break their purchase barriers.

Host a cooking demonstration using good value, healthy convenience products. Hand out recipe cards and offer a discount on the products used.

Generation X - Products



Unlike millennials who are less married to the ‘one-stop-shop’ concept of shopping, Baby Boomers tend to purchase at one store for everything. They’re your big buyers and they’re also loyal.

A majority (87%) of Baby Boomers don’t shop for premium brands and almost half (49%) shop on price.

They are willing to pay more for foods that are GMO free, have no artificial colours or flavours and are marketed as all natural.

Create an eye-catching end of aisle display with a variety of quality, trusted, natural and affordable products.

Generation Baby Boomers - Products



Between now and 2050 the number of Australians aged over 65 is expected to more than double and will account for an estimated 25% of the population. So although Millennials may be driving the health food trends, you shouldn’t forget the Silent Generation.

They don’t see health attributes as important, nor are they willing to pay more for them.

What they do see value in though, are low sugar products. These consumers (33%), along with Baby Boomers (37%) places more importance on sugar-free and low-sugar products than any other consumer group.

Use wobblers and clear signage to point out sugar free products.

The Silent Generation - Products

For further assistance on point of sale material or tips on attracting consumers contact us or read top tips to get seen, heard and selling.

Nielson, 2016.
Forbes, 2015.
Euromonitor, 2016.

Time To Bring Seaweed To The Table


Thanks to consumers demand for superfoods and lower sodium options, seaweed is finding its way to the limelight in Australia.

This acquired flavour is tantalising more and more taste buds by the day and has been predicted to be the next big superfood.*

Due to its abundance in nutrients, including natural vitamins, minerals and protein, seaweed answers Australian consumers growing voice for naturally functional foods and alternative protein sources.

Also high in antioxidants, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, it may help lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, or aid in digestion and weight management.

The consumers that know the health benefits behind this up-and-coming superfood are quick to scribble it at the top of their weekly shopping list.

What consumers may not know is how incredibly versatile humble underwater algae is. The first image that seaweed lends its name to is (of course) the Japanese cuisine favourite – sushi, but it offers far more than a stable barrier for rolls of rice.

Among many others, here are the top 3 ways consumers can incorporate seaweed into their diet.

Stash it in their bag for a healthy snack on the go!

Brands like GimMe and Sea Shanti offer thin, crispy and seriously irresistible sheets of roasted and flavoured seaweed in small packet sizes. These make for the perfect product for on-the-go healthy snacking.

Industry experts say that seaweed snacks will need to deliver on flavour in order to be successful and these brands certainly pack a tasty punch in the flavour field!

GimMe, which is highly marketed as a healthy family snack, offers Sea Salt, Sesame, and Teriyaki flavour, as well as Wasabi flavour for the more daring palates. These delicious roasted seaweed snacks are available in 10g sizes or 5g six packs, which are the ideal lunchbox size.

Sea Shanti offers bold flavours such as Chilli, Salt and Vinegar, and their Original, which is a smokey blend of sea salt, sesame and perilla oil. Their Original flavour is particularly popular with children and adults alike.

Packaged in small 10g bags, they are the perfect size for customers to slip into their gym bag, beach bag or desk draw to satisfy their 3pm snack cravings.



Stir it into smoothies or make seaweed salads!

Nutritionists Choice’s Fine Cut Nori and Wakame Flakes can be added to almost anything. Sprinkling them into smoothies can help customers that don’t necessarily love the distinct flavour of these nutrient rich sea vegetables, yet still obtain the vast health benefits they offer.

On the contrary, if your customers love to experiment and would fall over backwards for a distinctively bold flavoured seaweed, introduce them to Nutritionist Choice’s Natural Seaweed Salad Mix.

This combination of fresh, premium wakame (undaria pinnatifida) and tsunomata (aka,kiiro,shiro,ao) is a great base for a nutrient packed super salad. It’s quick and easy to prepare. Just soak for 5 to 8 minutes and it’s ready to add to their favourite seaweed salad recipe.

Or send them here for some cooking inspiration.



Add it to soups and stir-fries!

It’s not just salads, smoothies and snacks giving this saviour its versatile reputation. If it’s a hearty meal they want – seaweed’s here to save the day, yet again! With its neutral taste and smooth texture, kelp noodles from brands like Gold Mine are the solution to the perfect raw noodle alternative.

They can easily be added to stocks, soups, stir-fries, broths, curries and more. Kelp is naturally high in minerals, low in calories, gluten free and ready to eat straight out of the packet. Customers will love how easy and versatile they are.

There are plenty of kelp noodle dishes for your customers to discover online. Here’s a few recipes to get them started.



We can only expect the variations of products and categories in which seaweed is present to continue to expand. Not only is it predicted to become the next big superfood, but has also been labelled the number one nutrition trend of the year.**

So what now? Time to fill your ships, I mean shops with all things seaweedy!

*Mintel, 2016. **Australian Food News, 2016.