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Generating trust and making consumer choices easy with vegan certification

The global and European vegan food market trends

The vegan food market is significantly growing in recent years as a result of the increased consciousness about animal welfare, environmental sustainability and health. More and more people consume vegan and plant-based meat alternative products on a daily basis, which contribute to boost demand and market growth. According to Fortune Business Insight, the global vegan food market size valued at USD 23.31 billion in 2020 is projected to grow to USD 61.35 billion in 2028, at a CAGR of 12.95% during the 2021-2028 period with 72% of consumers now prioritising healthier food & beverage choices also as a result of Covid 19.

The global shift towards vegan and plant-based diets has started a revolution in the food industry, with major food manufacturers and retailers successfully embracing the change. As reported by GFI – Good Food Europe plant-based food sales in Europe grew by 21% between 2020 and 2022 reaching €5.8 billion (up from €4.8 billion in 2020), while the U.S. retail market for plant-based foods was worth $7.4 billion in 2021 (up from $6.9 billion in 2020) with growth of +54% percent in plant-based food dollar sales over the past three years.

Focus on the UAE vegan food market trends
As consumer behaviours and expectations change across the globe, plant-based and vegan food is becoming more and more popular also in the Middle-East. Despite the market is still in the early stages of development, there is an evident increase in the capability to manufacture new vegan products that meet requirements and demand of this evolving consumer base. Plant-based and vegan food retail sales have raised in numbers in recent years as new products and innovations have come to market, enabling more consumers to purchase next-generation products that are competitive with animal products on taste, price and convenience. According to Global Data’s “UAE Meat Substitutes Market Overview” the UAE meat substitutes market valued at AED 49. 4 million (€12.6 million) back in 2022 is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 4% during 2022-2027. The main categories in the UAE meat substitute market are represented by vegetable/plant-based proteins, soy-based meat substitutes, grain-based meat substitutes, single cell protein (fungi/algae). The single cell protein (fungi/algae) meat substitutes represented the largest category in 2022, while the soy-based category is forecasted to register the fastest value growth during 2022-2027, followed by grain-based and single cell protein (fungi/algae) categories.

The value of vegan trademark for manufacturers
For a vegan consumer, the agri-food sector possibly represents the greatest critical factor. When reading food product labels, consumers often come across ingredients that are unknown to them and this happens especially in the jungle of food additives.

For this reason, simply checking the list of ingredients on the label is not enough to ensure the absence of animal origin raw materials and ingredients in the finished product. A careful control of raw materials used, production process and laboratory tests are indeed required.

The vegan certification is therefore important for manufacturers to ensure the quality and authenticity of their products. It is a great way to support consumers making informed choices about the food they eat, and to build trust in the brand among this target who is typically well-informed and aware of product features and safety.

While some manufacturers sometimes simply add the word vegan or some vegan related symbols to their product labels, such a choice drives to lack of credibility and transparency while potentially position the brand as more exposed and discussed.

Transparency is crucial for establishing a trust-based relationship with customers and the implementation of an internationally recognised trademark such as V-Label represents for manufacturers a big step to gain reliability towards a continuously growing customer cluster.

Consumer confidence in third-party vegan trademark is indeed greater than self-proclaimed vegan product claims. People want to know that the products they intend to purchase truly acted in the spirit of full transparency, have proven their vegan claims and are being held accountable to their vegan labelling on their vegan product packaging.

The V-Label trademark
The V-Label trademark, a symbol of trust and assurance for vegan and vegetarian products, signifies commitment to promoting sustainable and ethical consumer choices. As part of a global network that spans over 70 countries and supports more than 50.000 products, V-Label is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of quality and transparency.

For consumers, the V-Label trademark is a reliable and straightforward guide to help them when they are shopping.

With the V-Label, companies promote transparency and clarity. The trademark enriches the product with an added value, provided by the assurance of compliance with the consumer expectations. It demonstrates compliance with V-Label international scheme requirements and provides transparent assurance that products do not contain hidden non-vegan or non-vegetarian substances. With the result of greater consumer trust and increased brand recognition in global vegan and vegetarian markets.

History of the V-LABEL trademark
Created in 1976 as an institutional symbol of the Italian Vegetarian Association, the V-Label trademark is presently the most recognized synonym for vegetarian and vegan products by consumers all over the world. This clear, unique image is intuitively associated with vegetarianism and veganism in every corner of the world, effectively breaking down any language barrier.

Officially presented internationally at the first European Vegetarian Congress held in Italy in 1985, it quickly spread first to Europe, and shortly thereafter to the rest of the world. The V-Label brand is now available in more than 70 countries worldwide and can be found everywhere around the world: it clearly and safely identifies products and services of various types, from food to textiles, footwear and cosmetics as compatible with the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. In addition to being available in the food industry (finished products, raw materials, drinks), the V-Label brand is also a point of reference for catering.

In most cases, the V-Label brand is distributed by local partners who are better able to convey information to producers and consumers thanks to their knowledge of local languages and cultures. This local approach also allows to handle technical material and information without the risk of translation errors or misunderstandings, and keep a close relationship with our customers.

Despite the widespread availability of the trademark in extremely different areas, both in terms of culture and traditions, V-Label maintains the same verification criteria and standards in every place. This uniformity aims to offer seriousness and quality to consumers who rely on the V-Label brand when choosing which products to buy.

The specifications used to issue V-Label were created and approved by the major European Vegan and Vegetarian Associations, that continuously support the V-Label by supervising the criteria, the verification methods and the trademark application.

The balance between the local approach and the standardization of criteria and processes makes the V-Label brand truly international, even more than its widespread coverage.

V-Label supports growth and expansion
The V-Label, in addition to identifying products suitable for a vegan lifestyle, keeps a close relationship with customers supporting them to differentiate from competitors, to build trust and loyalty and to ultimately push product awareness and sales.

Over years the V-Label has been supporting all European major distribution chains and retailers including Aldi, Carrefour, Despar, and LIDL to build a clear identity for their vegetarian and vegan products ranges.

With this in mind there are many financial and marketing benefits for manufacturers and retailers when choosing a third-party vegan certification such as V-Label that has a widely recognized, known symbol and that is globally trademarked. For further information on V Label Italia and the V-Label trademark visit www.vlabel.org



V-label, Free From Food, Dubai



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