Australian supermarket Coles has added a new own-brand range of frozen vegan ready meals to its shelves. The new product line includes gluten-free Vegetable Chilli and Penang Curry, as well as Vegetable Gyozas.
In the Facebook group “Australian Vegan Foodies,” one shopper revealed the meals could be found in the frozen section of the supermarket and attached an image of the product in a trolley. Other frozen vegan options from the supermarket include Fry’s Frozen Soy & Flaxseed Schnitzels, Fry’s Rice Protein & Chia Seed Frozen Nuggets, and Almond Salted Caramel Ice Cream by Sanitarium.
Coles is not the first Australian supermarket giant to up its vegan offerings. Leading chain Woolworths also launched a variety of new vegan products in recent months and has plans to add more in the future.
“We’ve seen a strong increase in demand for vegan products in the past year and we’re working to create even more choice and variety for our customers,” said one spokesperson for the store.
“In the past 12 months, we’ve added dozens of new products for customers, including dairy-free cheese, ice cream, and vegan meals. We recently commenced ranging popular products like Tofurky, Sheese, Funky Fields, and Follow Your Heart.” The spokesperson continued, “every indication tells us this category will only continue to grow and we’re focused on building a vegan range for our customers that is high quality, convenient, and affordable.”
Consumer demand for plant-based food is rising in Australia. In May, the meat-free initiative “No Meat May” saw record numbers of Aussies signing up to ditch meat and improve their health, the environment, and the welfare of animals. “We recognize that people change incrementally over time,” said the co-founder of the campaign Guy James Whitworth. “No Meat May provides a safe stepping stone, evidence-based information, and support for that bold first step.”
Australia has the third fastest growing vegan market in the world, behind Germany and the UK, according to market research company Euromonitor International. By 2020, the country’s packaged vegan food market is set to increase to a value of $215 million from where it currently stands at $136 million.