IN THE NEWS: On OCT 29, 2018
Dunedin, New Zealand-based Craft Meat Company is launching a vegan mince meat targeted at omnivores looking to reduce meat consumption.
The new product, set to hit supermarkets across the country this week, is made from mushrooms, tomato, almonds, coconut oil, and soy protein.
"My youngest daughter became a vegan two years ago, so when I bought the meat company she said: 'why don't you make something I can eat', and I realised there was a growing trend for people to eat less meat or to eat no meat at all," co-owner Grant Howie told the New Zealand Herald.
Howie owns Fisher Meat, a traditional animal-based butcher. But the new line is vegan because, besides his daughter, Howie says more than 30 percent of New Zealand residents are reducing their consumption of animal products.
"It's this new flexitarian consumer segment that we are primarily targeting, although, of course, vegans and vegetarians will also be key consumers."
The Craft Meat Company says it will add meat sausages, burgers, and ready-made meals in 2019.
Demand for vegan food is on the rise in New Zealand. Its neighbor Australia is the third largest vegan market in the world and that trend is being mirrored in New Zealand.
Recently, fast food pizza chain Domino's announced it was adding vegan cheese options to its pies after trials proved successful. It also recently added a vegan cheesy garlic bread. Savour, an Auckland-based vegan cheese brand, just won a New Zealand food award for its cashew-based dairy-free feta.
Indigenous New Zealanders are also shunning traditional meat-heavy diets popular on the island. Earlier this year a 160-year-old Maori meeting ground announced that it would be focusing on serving plant-based meals for the health of the community.
Air New Zealand became the first airline in the world to serve the vegan Impossible Burger on select international flights. The burger looks, cooks, and tastes like beef but is made entirely from plants. Sherie Howie, co-owner of the Craft Meat Company, says the company's vegan meat also closely resembles ground beef.
"In some instances, you can't even tell the difference whether it is meat or not", she said.