Veganism is a trend that's taking off in many places across the world. This culinary philosophy revolves around the notion that all animals deserve to live freely, and that humans should endeavor to find their sustenance through plant-based foods.
While vegetarianism is easy enough to follow, as you simply have to avoid meat, veganism expands this by including animal products such as dairy and eggs. As such, sticking with a vegan lifestyle requires discipline and an awareness of what you're putting into your body.
Of course, the latter part of this demands proper labeling, as any unintentional deviation from a vegan diet can completely turn a customer against a company. This is why it's so important for vegan food producers to understand the current environment surrounding the vegan movement.
'Meat' Label Ban
For many vegans who switch from a meat-based lifestyle, a big part of the transition is finding alternatives for foods you used to love. While there are many wonderfully tasty plant-based foods, there's no denying that Tofurky is quite different than actual turkey.
Many vegans like it that way, as they have grown accustomed to their new way of life, but the state of Missouri decided people needed more structure when it comes to labeling these foods. In an omnibus agriculture bill, the state prohibited plant-based foods from using the word "meat" to describe their products. This labeling is now only meant for the flesh of slaughtered animals.
Vegans in the state are fighting against this with a lawsuit, stating that the bill is meant to discourage competition between animal meat and plant-based products. Regardless of what happens, it's important to recognize the pride with which vegans view their lifestyle and the food that comes with it. This is a strongly opinionated market, and companies must understand the veracity of their customer's commitment to veganism.
'Plant-Based' Labeling a Good Alternative
While the battle rages on in Missouri for the use of "meat" within vegan product labeling, it would seem that many companies are attempting to hedge their bets. The Telegraph reports that many producers are simply switching to using the phrase "plant-based" to describe all of their products, regardless of if they're meant to simulate meat or not.
The idea is that the word "vegan" is viewed as morally grandstanding by the average consumer, and as such, companies have started to move away from it.