The meat-free category is also diversifying. Gone are the days where ‘vegetarian ham’ was the only product on offer, and vegetarians or meat-reducers now have an array of substitutes to choose from.
Italian firm Biolab was showcasing three sliced meat alternatives which were nominated for an innovation award.
“We wanted to create a typical Italian taste and so these three products are vegan versions of authentic Italian products - bresaola, speck and cotto,” said commerical and marketing director Tanja Klancic
Bresaola is an air-dried, salted beef aged between two and three months; cotto is cooked ham; and speck is a type of ham from the Tyrol region which is flavoured with juniper berries.
Made from a blend of wheat gluten protein, vegetables (carrot, beetroot, celery, leek) and spices, Biolab’s R&D team worked on the formulation for one and a half years, she said. The speck product contains essential oil from the Pinus Mugo mountain pine tree to add flvour.
Manufacturing will begin next month at its facility in north east Italy, and it will begin selling in Italy under its own brand name and in Germany and Scandinavian countries under private label brands.