Rietberg, 09 March 2023. Since 2014, at the beginning of every year, various organisations have been encouraging consumers to follow a vegan diet. To this end supermarkets and discounters have on offer a huge variety of alternatives which make it easy, tasty and very tempting to dispense with animal products in one’s diet completely. Jörg Koch, Head of Innovation at the Frostkrone Food Group, talks here about the development of vegetarian and vegan diets and highlights current trends and innovations.
What was just seen as a mega trend in the past has now long since become - according to Jörg Koch, Head of Innovation at the Frostkrone Food Group - a recognised type of diet, which has already gained a remarkable share of the market: “But it is not only in the food trade but also in the gastronomic world that we increasingly see vegetarian and vegan items becoming a regular feature of the goods or meals on offer. And the diversity of these products has also grown enormously.”
Approximately five per cent of British people declare themselves to be vegan or vegetarian. And according to a survey, during the Covid-19 pandemic every fourth Briton reduced his/her consumption of animal products. “Younger people are much more concerned about things like animal welfare, the environment and awareness of healthy eating. But the older population is also choosing vegan and vegetarian products more and more frequently,” explains Jörg Koch. In the light of this, it is assumed that the market for plant-based alternatives in the United Kingdom and in the EU is set to grow to 6.6 billion pounds a year by 2025.
A High Concentration of Competence
Jörg Koch has been with Frostkrone since 2014 and is responsible for product development throughout the entire Company Group. He is in contact with all the locations via a team call every week. And every month a joint meeting for the product development teams across all locations and all country borders takes place: “We discuss new product concepts and technologies and we offer one another support wherever we can. Within the Frostkrone Food Group there is so much expertise and such diverse kinds of competence at all the individual locations. The subsequent sharing of this knowledge enables us all to benefit from one another’s skills.”
The Product Development team is never short of creative ideas. “We’re always on the lookout for what is changing on the market. What are the new trends? What could we imagine as the new finger food and snack constellations? How can we improve on products?”
It is especially in Germany and in the UK that the Frostkrone Food Group offers their customers an extensive range of vegan and vegetarian finger food and snacks. It was only last year that a plant-based food range called “Really?!” was launched in Germany. And its selection includes delights such as the following:
- Fish Goujons: These delicious vegan fish sticks are enveloped in a crispy coating made of rice flakes.
- Vegan Chilli Cheese Nuggets: So hot! The scrumptiousness of the crunchy coating is followed by a hot and punchy creaminess made of vegan cheese and fiery chilli pieces.
- Fried Chicken: In an aromatic, crispy coating, this vegan-style fried chicken makes a really tasty snack when you’re enjoying a convivial evening with friends.
Innovation and Quality
One very important aspect for Jörg Koch and his entire team is this: that much thought is given to the subject of additives in the vegan product range. “When the first products came on the market, the list of additives found in many of them was long. I was hoping that we had eliminated many of these,” reveals Jörg Koch who has been working in product development for 30 years. “At Frostkrone we have been striving for years to rid our products of modifiers, aromas, flavour enhancers and the like. So for that reason we did not wish to return to such a beginning with the vegan finger food and snacks.” But since then much has changed for the better and Jörg Koch now sees all future developments in an optimistic light. “With the vegan products, too, we are heading most certainly towards clean label goods.”
Another reason for this is that suppliers have developed new alternatives, thus providing manufacturers with more possibilities. “The big challenge as regards substitutes or replacers is that we can recreate the taste and consistency of the original ingredient. So in our Product Development we try out and taste and test and test again until we feel that a product is ready to be launched on the market.” And then, whether the product is meat, fish, something vegetarian or vegan, the aspirations and indeed requirements of the Frostkrone Food Group always remain constant: the creating of finger food and snack variations that are fun to eat and so delicious they are to die for.
ABOUT THE FROSTKRONE FOOD GROUP
The Frostkrone Food Group - with its headquarters located in the town of Rietberg, in the federal German state of North Rhine-Westphalia - stands out in sharp relief because of its incredibly wide variety of finger food and snacks. The Group markets its products in the food retail trade and also in the food service industry.
The many-faceted range of products is available worldwide in a great deal of countries including those in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, Switzerland, in the eastern European countries, Asia and in the USA.