Francesca Bandelli, marketing director at Puratos, on how the opportunities for vegan options in baking look set to grow

Veganism is undoubtedly the trend of the moment – with a reported 360% increase in the number of vegans in 2017 and 150,000 people signing up to take part in Veganuary.

In addition, there is a significant number who, while they don’t officially identify as vegan, follow a vegan diet for at least some of the time. Last year The Vegan Society stated that half of UK adults had adopted vegan “buying behaviour” and one in five admitted they “would consider going vegan”.

Between 2012 and 2016, there was a 185% increase in the number of vegan products launched in the UK and 9% of food products launched in 2016 carried a vegan claim, up from 3% in 2012 .

To meet the needs of our customers, who are increasingly being asked for vegan products, and to maximise the growing trend, last month Puratos launched our first vegan cake mixes. The Satin Vegan Cake Mixes, in plain and chocolate, complement the existing

Satin range, which we have been offering for 25 years. The new products deliver cakes with no compromise on flavour, texture or appearance.

However, developing the mixes was not without its challenges, as in traditional cakes egg is, of course, typically relied on for texture, colour, flavour and volume stability. This is where our research and development team stepped in, overcoming this challenge and helping us deliver egg-free cakes.

The vegan Satin range is only the start for Puratos, though. To meet what we believe will be a long-term trend, we are working on developing our vegan offering, adding new flavours to the vegan mixes range and, ultimately, aiming to have at least one vegan product in each patisserie category.

Like every product we develop at Puratos, each of our vegan options will offer freshness, health and taste. They will be for all consumers to enjoy, as well as being suitable for those following a vegan diet, almost as an added bonus.

It will be essential for all bakery, retail and foodservice outlets to offer a range of vegan products and to stay on top of how the trend and its place in the industry is changing.

The rise of veganism has been fast and powerful and we expect this will only continue in the future and are confident Puratos will play a significant part in delivering vegan products across the category.

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