Nestle Goes Meat-Free In Spain, Introduces Vegan Garden Gourmet

Apr 13, 2016 04:50 AM EDT

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The meat-free market has gone a long way in developing plant-based meat substitutes. Some meat-free option are even said to rival the real thing in terms of taste and texture.
(Photo : (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Nestle, through its Garden Gourmet brand, has recently introduced in the Spanish market plant-protein based frozen dishes to answer country's increasing demand for meat-free meal options. The company confirms that the recent vegetarian creations are its answer to "increasingly informed" customers who are concerned with healthy eating.

According to Nestle, the Spanish market in particular saw an increasing number of consumers expressing their desire to consume more fruits, legumes, cereals and vegetables while, at the same time, wanting to limit their intake of meat and even fish, reports Just Food. The global food firm added that in Spain, plant-based foods is gaining more acceptance, as it was viewed as an environmentally-sound yet nutritionally-intelligent choice.

Currently, available Garden Gourmet dishes include vegetarian nuggets, dumplings, braised bocaditos and three types of burgers. For now, the vegetarian products are available in a limited number of stores but Nestle plans to gradually roll out the meat-free products across the country.

Indeed, the modern consumer is a well-informed one. Many are justly concerned about the safety of eating meat especially with commercially mass-produced meat with its liberal use of antibiotics, growth hormones and preservatives making them prefer plant-based diet instead as these are generally viewed as the healthier option. Others embrace vegetarianism for more profound reasons such as certain religions which forbids the eating of animals or those sensitive individuals who cannot bring themselves to eat the meat of suffering animals.

Fortunately, commercial enterprises are quick to sieze this opportunity with their offerings of plant-based meat substitutes to address this niche. These relatively new offerings make it easier for people wishing to wean themselves of meat as these meat substitutes tastes like meat and also contain the necessary plant-based protein.

The meat-free alternative market has experienced exponential growth in recent years, making the niche too big to be ignored by giant food manufacturers. According to the London-based market research firm Lintel, 12 percent of food and drink products in 2013 are classified as vegetarian, which is twice the percentage in 2009 at 6 percent. While no global statistic is yet available, Mintel cited UK's meat-free market to be at £625 million or US$891 million in 2013, a significant increase from its 2009 level of £543 million or US$774 million.






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