In a world of infinite choice and individual action on matters such as animal welfare, the ‘mainstreaming’ of alternative diets presents new challenges and opportunities for food services providers.
One of the biggest growth areas for alternative diets is veganism – a food choice which sees adherents abstain from all animal derived food products, including dairy and eggs, consuming only plant-derived foods. The proliferation of food manufacturing technologies means that, in this modern world, there are many more alternatives available to vegans to substitute plant-derived foods for those important proteins. Soy and almond milk for your latte, tofu and soy products as meat and protein replacements, and increasingly sophisticated manufactured replacements for meat and, can you believe it, cheese.
In Britain recently, Dairy UK has written to a non-dairy cheese retailer to demand that it no longer uses the term cheese to describe its products. In the trade sensitive European Union, where geographically specific brand names such as Champagne are protected from use elsewhere, food product substitutes which reference the original product are also frowned upon – an issue which has also started to emerge in other countries such as Australia.