In the year 2000, 2% of Australians reported being vegetarian. By 2019, that number had jumped by more than 10%. Australia’s demand for vegan products positions us as one of the fastest-growing vegan markets in the world.

Whether they are choosing a vegetarian diet for the health benefits or because of a personal stance against cruelty to animals, more and more people are turning to plant-based food options.


In 2019, The Heart Foundation changed its recommendations on the consumption of meat, suggesting a limit of less than 350 grams of unprocessed meat – approximately three meals – per week. In 2021, a record number of people signed up to Veganuary, committing to follow a vegan diet for the month of January.

When it comes to eating a plant-based diet, it’s not necessarily an all or nothing approach. While many consumers will be dedicated vegans, others adopt a flexitarian style where they follow a mostly vegetarian diet, eating minimal animal products in moderation.

For plant-based devotees – whether that is a full-time or a part-time commitment – the range of products available to them goes well beyond tofu and veggie burgers. One of the recent category additions is plant-based meat that offers a similar texture to regular meat, but is instead made from plant-based protein sources.

Research by Food Frontier shows that one in three Australians has tried this new generation of plant-based meat products. Their forecasts predict that growth in the category is likely to see the sector generate close to AUD $3 billion in retail sales by 2030.

That growth is already accelerating fast. According to a report in Retail World, the category doubled in size from 2019 to 2020. And while early growth was from the early adopter market, the report also revealed a prediction, “We expect the scale of the category to continue to grow through mainstream shoppers looking for alternative protein options for a range of reasons including health and sustainability.”

Plant-based meat is a relatively new and fast-growing market that has the potential to reach a broad consumer base. Meet the market by adding plant-based alternatives to your range with these top-selling brands.

Plant-based meats - Upton's Naturals Jackfruit


Whilst it is not your typical meat replacement as it contains a very minimal amount of protein, jackfruit originates from tropical locations where it is abundant and popular for its high level of antioxidants. 

It’s very popular in the vegan community as a versatile plant-based meat alternative. It has a texture akin to shredded chicken or pork and soaks up the flavour from herbs, spices and sauces.

The Upton’s Naturals Jackfruit range includes five varieties. Original which has no added flavouring to be used as a base for plant-based dishes, or the five flavoured varieties – Bar-b-que, Chilli Lime Carnitas, Sweet & Smoky and Thai Curry. 

The range is highly versatile, able to be used in a variety of recipes to create delicious vegan meals. Each of the flavours in the range is low-GI, gluten free and low in saturated fat.

Flexible Foods plant-based meat alternatives


The Plant-based Mince and Patties from Flexible Foods are made from texturised pea protein, considered one of the most sustainable plant-based proteins. 

The Australian-made range is non-GMO, gluten free, preservative free, low fat and low carbohydrate. They are a good source of iron, protein and fibre.

The Plant-based Patties include 14g of protein per patty with 3.1mg of iron and includes chia meal, nutritional yeast and flavoursome spices.

There are four varieties of the Plant-based Mince – Original, A Taste of India, A Taste of Italy and A Taste of Mexico. Each is high in protein with regional flavours added to create delicious meat-free meals.

Plantasy Foods plant-based meat alternatives


The Plantasy Foods Protein Patty Mixes were the first of their kind to launch in Australia, are made from premium ingredients and are gluten free. With three flavours in the range – Original, Mexican Fiesta and Fresh Thai – the products were designed to mix with water and then be shaped into patties or rissoles.

Plantasy Foods also has a diverse range of other plant-based protein options including the innovative Nut Roast with Cranberries (baking pan included) and the versatile Walnut & Lentil Mince.  

As well as three Plant-based Protein mixes – a Soy Free option made from 100% texturised pea protein and the Natural and Dark made from defatted soy flour (with the addition of cacao for the Dark).


Stock your shelves with this new generation of plant-based meat alternatives with Unique Health Products. You can call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904 or place your order 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the convenience of our online store. If you are a new Unique Health Products customer, you can register your account here.


Attempting to predict trends for the year ahead seems somewhat of a foolish task these days but the reality is that many health product trends are slow burners, building steam gradually before becoming fully-fledged mainstream inclusions.

So despite the air of uncertainty around retail and the ever-changing global environment that we live in, experts can still predict, with fair accuracy, what we will be eating more of in the near future. We’ve tracked down the data-driven expert insights to bring you four health product trends to watch this year.

Plant proteins


Plant-based meat alternatives and protein sources are big business and they have been for a while now. But we’re going to see this ramp up in 2021 big time!

The plant-based protein market is predicted to grow at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3%, with demand for vegan meat alternatives soaring back in 2020—sales were up by a staggering 264% by May!*

This demand isn’t just coming from those who are vegan either. It’s driven by a mix of factors—the plant-based movement, flexitarian-style diets, increased awareness around health and excessive meat consumption, climate change activism, in addition to a host of innovative ‘can’t-believe-it’s-not-meat’ replica products piquing the interest of mainstream consumers.



You may have seen the word ‘nootropics’ before but what exactly are they? Nootropics can be classified as ingredients, supplements, or other substances that may improve cognitive function including memory, focus, motivation or creativity. Some provide temporary enhanced performance while others work long-term to improve cognitive health and mental performance if taken consistently.

According to DataM Intelligence, the global nootropics market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 12.6% during the forecasting period (2020-2027). We’re expecting to see nootropics pop up in all kinds of products thanks to powerful marketing promoting their ability to support academic success, professional advantage, athletic performance, personal improvement and sustaining brain activities during old age.

Finding calm


The demand for functional food and beverages that help reduce anxiety, support adrenal health, reduce insomnia, help to manage stress and improve mood are sharply on the rise. In fact, according to Goldstein Research, sleep aids and stress management supplements including products with herbal extracts, ashwagandha, tryptophan, zinc and/or magnesium are the fastest-growing category within health!

Even prior to the stresses of 2020, mood/relaxing supplements were a booming category that grew at a CAGR of 5.7% between 2014 to 2019. According to Euromonitor’s ‘Health and Nutrition Survey, January and February 2020’, more than 50% of consumers around the world claimed they were suffering from ‘moderate’ to ‘extreme’ stress.

Functional flours


Originally driven by the need for alternatives to wheat and other gluten-containing flours, functional flours are gaining popularity as consumers and culinary experts seek to improve the texture, taste and nutrient profile of their gluten-free cooking.

Functional flours such as apple, chia, banana, quinoa and coconut flour are popular thanks to their additional health benefits, flavour profiles and baking capabilities, as well as their sustainable nature. Many of these are often a byproduct of other food manufacturing and help to reduce waste which makes them more sustainable options to regular flour.

There is also a continued increase in gluten-free, grain-free and low-carb diets that are driving the demand even further. According to Global Market Insights, the global gluten-free food market alone is expected to reach more than AUD$20 billion in the next six years!

Kickstart 2021 with your shelves stocked with the best trending products from Unique Health Products. You can shop online 24/7 or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you don’t have a wholesale account with us yet, you can register for one here.

*Research and Markets, 2020, CB Insights, 2020.

Aussies Hunger for Vegan Friendly Products


Ewa Hudson, Head of Health and Wellness at Euromonitor International, said that Australia is one to watch when it comes to the demand for vegan friendly products.

Between 2015 and 2020, Australia is projected to continue as the third-fastest-growing vegan market in the world at 9.6% growth. Not far ahead is United Arab Emirates growing at 10.6%, with China leading the growth at 17.2%.

In Australia, it’s Tasmania that’s leading demand for vegan options. Newcastle, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Canberra also make it to the top 5 locations most interested in veganism.
With demand increasing rapidly, Australia’s packaged vegan food market is set to grow over $60 million in value to reach $215 million by 2020.


Vegan Friendly Products


Globally, this alternative lifestyle has been supported by high profile, mainstream celebrities like Beyoncé. Support has also come from the increased awareness about the health benefits of vegan options, as well as the increased need that Australians have developed for transparency in what the consume. The internet makes it simple for consumers to easily access information on veganism and farm- to-table practices. People want to know where their food comes from.


With demand increasing, vegan friendly products have only seen the opportunity to develop further in quality and taste. Veganism is hence losing its ‘hippie’ stereotype and becoming more mainstream everyday. People want good food they don’t feel guilty eating, both morally and in terms of health. Consumers are learning fast that vegan options are where they’ll get this.

According to Google, ‘Vegan’ is searched more in Australia, than anywhere else in the world.

So what products are seeing the most growth in the vegan sector?

In Australia, dairy-type products, worth $83.7 million come in as the most popular non-animal products in Australia. These are followed by sauces, dressings and condiments worth $26.3 million. Closely behind is biscuits and snack bars valued at $12.5 million, confectionary worth $6.9 million, breakfast cereals at $5.4 million, and then spreads worth $1.1 million.*

According to Australian Dietary Guidelines, appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthy and nutritionally adequate.

Vegan Friendly Products

Stock a range of vegan friendly products and share the benefits of veganism to get a slice of the growing category.

Check out the top-selling vegan friendly products from The Whole Foodies, Monica’s Mixes, East Bali Cashews, Power Super Foods, Protein Supplies Australia, Extraordinary Foods, Natural Evolution, Blue Dinosaur, GimMe, and Protes.


Source: Euromonitor International, 2016.

A Day with James Aspey


With over 5,000 Facebook followers, 25,000 Instagram followers, featured stories on high traffic websites like Brussels Vegan and almost 34,000 views on his top YouTube video (Breaking My 365 Day Vow of Silence On Live TV), he certainly has a strong following.

James gained mass attention as an animal rights activist after his first large campaign Voiceless 365, where he didn’t speak for an entire year to spread awareness on animal rights.

When Dale, Unique’s Managing Director, announced that James Aspey was coming to visit Unique to personally share his story, the team were thrilled to meet him and hear him speak.

The thing about James is, his videos present him as a down to earth man, who’s passionate about spreading his message on animal rights and when we met James, he was just that; passionate and down to earth.

When James arrived, he toured the warehouses and met with every staff member, using his humour as though we were all old-time friends. It’s easy to say that he quickly got ‘adopted’ into the Unique ‘family’ and aligned seamlessly with our Unique culture.

His main message was clear from the beginning; he was here to share his story and inspire those he shared it with, to do better.

James quoted, “When we know better, we do better”.

He spoke clearly and fluidly, expressing every word with emotion and meaning,
plus a good dose of humour. He had the whole room’s undivided attention from start to finish.

The story began with seventeen-year-old James, who was fighting a hard battle with lymphoma and leukemia.
“I’d never suffered like this before” James told us.

After three years of chemotherapy, he was lucky enough to overcome the cancer and go on to better his health. With the help of a personal trainer, James lost the 25 kilos he’d gained during his cancer treatment and rediscovered his love for life. James didn’t stop here, but vowed to help others better their health, working as a personal trainer on cruise ships.

The story went on to explain James’s transition to a vegan lifestyle.

He spoke of his turning point. The moment he met an inspiring man on one of the cruises he worked on. James described the man as ‘Budda-like’ and spoke with the man everyday for two weeks. On the last day of the cruise, the man told James “Eating animals is bad karma”. This statement really resonated with James and encouraged him at first to take up a vegetarian lifestyle. He also began actively partaking in meditation and learning from documentaries like “Earthlings” and “Food, Inc.”.

What came next was James’s studies in animal rights and finally his active campaigns for animals which James referred to as ‘the voiceless’.

James spoke of his first few days of being vegetarian, “three days in, I had increased energy”, he explained.

And he shared with us the four main reasons that humans consume any animal products; taste, habit, tradition and convenience.

How he delivered his story, was extremely engaging.

James explained that he took the knowledge he had gained and grew a strong passion for animal rights. This is where his first major animal rights campaign came to light.

He vowed to be silent for a year, travel Australia to visit animal rescue farms and factory farms and spread his message.

His journey was incredible. He shared with us all the ups, downs and eye-opening situations he found himself in. From hand-raising a baby calf to cycling 5,000km from Darwin to Sydney, it was surely an adventure of a lifetime.

You can read more about James’ full story here.

When James broke his vow of silence, he spoke for the first time live on Sunrise.
Although it didn’t go 100 percent to plan, James is now thrilled with the way it panned out. Since his first campaign, he has seen tremendous support from people all over Australia and the world.

James finished up by letting us in on a couple more campaigns that he has on the way. We’ll just say he’s truly passionate about animal rights and has lots up his sleeve to spread his message far and wide.

Having James Aspey at Unique was a privilege and a pleasure, one that gave every Uniquer an unmatchable insight into veganism and animal rights. Thanks James!

If you’d like to see the whole talk, click here.

Learn more about James or ask him to share his story with your staff or customers by contacting him via email:

2016’s HOTTEST Health Lifestyles – Helping the ‘New Year, New Me’ Consumer


It’s inevitable that your customers will be making New Year’s resolutions. Vowing for healthier, happier lifestyles in 2016, they will be actively seeking help to achieve their goals and stay on track. An insight into the healthy lifestyle trends predicted to be favourites for 2016 can help you stay up to date with consumer needs and expectations.

Many successful health lifestyles from 2015 will continue to be in focus this year: quitting sugar, living a paleo lifestyle, following a 5:2 diet, going vegan, eating raw, detox and cleanses as well as living a healthier lifestyle.


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Usually referring to the elimination of fructose from our diet, this trend is highly driven by the international best-selling author and health advocate, Sarah Wilson.

  1. Sarah Wilson’s research has identified that some benefits of quitting sugar include a decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes, slowed aging, a decreased risk of cancer and a healthier weight.
  2.  The average Australian consumes a massive 30 teaspoons of sugar (from both added and natural sources)*. This is about 6 times the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of just 5-6 teaspoons daily.
  3. 75% of the sugar we eat comes from processed and pre-packaged foods and drinks*. These aren’t just from sugary soft drinks, but are also surprisingly hidden in perceived ‘healthy’ foods such as low fat yogurt, muesli bars, juices and cereals.

*Government of South Australia, SA Health.



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Eating paleo has been pushed to the mainstream with the support of health advocates such as author and chef Pete Evans. It’s generally based on eating as our ancestors did during the Paleolithic era, which eliminates processed foods, grains and dairy.

  1. Advocates of the paleo lifestyle reason that it decreases the risk of chronic diet-related disease and improves human performance.
  2. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, omega-3 and other polyunsaturated fats, which are said to improve our body’s ability to make use of food rather than store it as fat.
  3. Paleo is not just about what you eat, it’s a full lifestyle rethink. There is a focus on nutrition, sufficient sleep, water, exercise, stretching, sunshine, positive thinking and living a happy life.


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The 5:2 diet is about eating sensibly for five out of seven days and then restricting calorie intake on the remaining two days to about 500 calories, a quarter of your recommended daily intake*.

  1. Valter Longo, a biologist at the University of Southern California has found evidence that suggests that when calories are restricted, not only may you live longer, but the prevalence of diseases goes also decreases considerably.
  2. You start burning off your fat reserves only after you’ve used up the emergency glycogen stores in your liver. This is why there’s no point doing half measures or drip feeding on fasting days. It’s said that using up your restricted calories on your fasting days in one or two meals is most effective.
  3. Intermitted Fasting is based on years of research with studies going back over 80 years.

* Australian Healthy Food Guide recommends an average of approximately 2000 calories daily.



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Veganism is a lifestyle that removes any animal products including meat, eggs and dairy from the diet, also clothing, skincare and anything else that is recognised to cause an animal to suffer during production. Veganism is followed for health and ethical reasons.

  1. Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn conducted a study that found a vegan diet caused more than 500 genes to change in three months, turning on genes that prevent disease and turning off genes that are associated with disease*.
  2. Approximately 95 litres of water is needed to produce 500 grams of wheat, while around 9,500 litres of water is needed to produce 500 grams of meat.
  3. Vegans get their protein from products like lentils, black beans, veggie burgers, tofu, nuts, peanut butter and soy milk.

*Based on Elizabeth Blackburn’s ‘Increased telomerase activity and comprehensive lifestyle changes: a pilot study’.



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The premise behind eating raw is that heating food destroys its nutrients and natural enzymes, which is bad because enzymes boost digestion and fight chronic disease.

  1. Raw Foodists say they have experienced benefits including clearer skin, increased energy and weight loss, as well as reports that eating raw helps to reduce the risk of disease.
  2. You can use blenders, food processors, and dehydrators to prepare foods, as long as it’s not heated above 50 degrees Celsius.
  3. There are many subcategories of raw foodists. Some include Fruitarian (people who consume mostly fruits), Sproutarian (people who consume mostly sprouts) and Juicearian (people who consume mostly fresh juice).


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Customers wanting to transition into a healthier life may be looking for more general information about improving their overall health and wellbeing. FMTV (Food Matters TV) offers these consumers over 400 health and wellbeing documentaries, recipe videos and expert interviews available to watch online at any time.

  1. Food Matters already has over 1.6 million people that have joined them on a path to wellness by connecting with their Facebook Page.
  2. Chair of the Cancer Council’s Public Health Committee, Craig Sinclair, has identified through studies that a quarter of Australian teenagers are overweight or obese.
  3. Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle has said to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and illnesses.