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 (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.
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.
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!