Australia's answer to the plant-based meat revolution has today announced one of its biggest milestones to date, with v2food's non-meat mince and burgers to be sold in more than half of the country's Woolworths stores.
Within a year of creating the Hungry Jack's plant-based 'Rebel Whopper' and subsequent deals with Soul Burger, Marley Spoon, Dinnerly, Deliveroo and Drakes Supermarkets, v2food says the Woolworths deal marks a significant step change in its growth.
v2food was founded as a collaboration between CSIRO, Main Sequence Ventures and Competitive Foods, a venture from Hungry Jack's owner Jack Cowin.
The company's v2mince and v2burgers will start to be rolled-out in more than 600 Woolworths stores from today.
Woolworths plant-based category manager Mauro Pisani is optimistic about the products' prospects.
"We're continuing to see growth in the plant-based category, particularly in recent months as customers cook more at home and are looking for variety in their diet," says Pisani.
"We're excited to offer v2food within our broader range, giving Aussies a great tasting and affordable plant-based option."
v2food founder and CEO Nick Hazell (pictured) highlights the health, food security and sustainability challenges presented by exponentially growing demand for meat, which is propelled by population growth that is heading towards the 10 billion-mark by 2050.
"But people's habits are only going to change if they have alternatives that taste just as good as the real thing, at a fair price and which can be easily replicated in their favourite meals," says Hazell.
"With Woolworths ranging v2 in over 600 of their stores, we now have a real chance to show Aussies how good plant-based meat can taste, helping them make food choices that are better for the planet.
"I am incredibly proud of the scale that v2food has been able to achieve in such a short space of time, which is testament to the strength of our product. This is an exciting milestone for both us, and for Aussie dinners."
Recent research from Food Frontier found that six in 10 Aussies and Kiwis have tried or want to try plant-based meat (equivalent to 15 million Australians), whilst a YouGov survey, commissioned by v2food,found that 49 per cent of Australians wanted to reduce their meat intake.
At the same time, a new study by Food Frontier and co-authored by accredited practising dietitian Teri Lichtenstein shows that plant-based meat can offer consumers a healthier alternative to similar conventional meat products.
"Public health campaigns have urged Australians for decades to reduce our intake of red and processed meats, and eat more plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, yet consumer behaviours and preferences largely haven't changed," says Food Frontier CEO Thomas King.
"Our study showed plant-based meats offer certain benefits of plant foods like dietary fibre, and are nutritionally superior or comparable on average to similar conventional meats.
"This means that for Aussies who still want a burger to throw on the barbeque or mince for their bolognaise, plant-based meats can serve as a healthier option."Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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