Move Over Dairy, Plants are Here to Stay – 2022 Forecast
There will be a continued boom in plant-based products, especially in new markets such as vegan cheese. 2021 saw the first Vegan Cheese Awards, featuring NZ made plant-based cheeses from all over the country. Many producers are using their previous dairy cheese-making skills to apply to nut-based cheeses, producing a range of delicious new ways to enjoy the taste of cheese.
Precision fermentation is a new technology to this market, that will really change the game. With the ability to produce taste and texture dairy identical proteins, economists are predicting the end of the dairy industry by 2030. Dairy from animals is simply too resource-heavy to continue.
Plant-based products continue to grow in popularity and supermarkets are making new shelf space for them. The meat industry is seeing a drop in their market share and it scares them. Australian senator and ex-butcher Susan McDonald has been demanding that plant-based products drop all references to animals in their labelling, suggesting that consumers are confused by them.
The truth is that no meat-eater has inadvertently bought a plant-based product thinking it was meat. The labelling is very clear. Consumers who are confused, are vegans who buy products labelled plant-based, that actually contain animal products. Currently there is no legislation around the use of the word plant-based, and companies who have used it, are changing their formulas to become 100% plant-based. This year could see such legislation brought in.
So many big companies are now making vegan or plant-based versions of all kinds of foods, from brownies, to meringues; sausages and burgers to soups and pizzas. There are so many ways to veganise popular fayre, that the only limit is your imagination. Fast food chains have also been working on vegan options and more are in the offing, vegan KFC and McDonald’s are sure to hit NZ this year.
“There’s never been a better time to try vegan,” media spokesperson Claire Insley said, “with over 600,000 people globally taking the vegan pledge last year and almost a third of Kiwis trying to reduce their intake of animal products, the future really is vegan. There is so much support from the supermarkets, cafes and restaurants (even during Covid restrictions), local markets too are seeing an increase in vegan options. This is a trend that will only continue, as plant-based foods use only a sixth of the resources of animal products.”
There has been much success for groups against animal exploitation, with the reduction in the number of rodeos last year, and more cancelled for the coming year, the end for rodeos could be 2022. It’s an imported idea that has only been around in NZ for 70 years, it is not part of NZ’s heritage and thus will end shortly.
As compassion for our fellow beings who share the planet with us continues to increase, there will be a reduction in the use of animals for entertainment and gambling purposes. As greyhound racing has come under the spotlight, 2022 could be the year that animal welfare laws make it all but impossible to continue.