Frozen food distributor Central Foods has extended its free-from range for foodservice operators with the launch of a new vegan American pancake.
The company explained the launch comes as a response to both to the increase in demand for plant-based, vegan products and to the growing appetite among consumers for eating out at breakfast and brunch. All-day breakfasts are also becoming more popular, particularly with millennials – leading to rising demand from foodservice operators for easy-to-serve breakfast-style items that can be offered throughout the day and at various dining occasions, according the Central Foods.
The company told World Bakers that the NPD took approximately four months from concept to first production run. There were not many challenges regarding the taste and texture of the vegan pancakes, they say. “First step was to remove all milk and egg products. When we did a small mix, we were extremely happy with the taste and the texture. Once the product was sampled and approved, we then went to full factory trial to ensure the product held up on longer runs, which we were delighted to see it did. The product was surprisingly simple in its concept. Our quality manager is vegan so her input into this was vital,” the company told us.
The four and a half inch pancakes are made to a vegan recipe resulting in a fluffy American-style pancake that can be topped with both sweet and savory options to create a breakfast item or light snack. Suitable for both vegetarians and vegans, the pancakes have a defrosted shelf-life of two days.
Consumers Ask for Vegan
Asked about actual trends in baked foods, the representatives of the company estimated that, from the increased interest in Veganuary in January this year, veganism has continued to become the main food trend of 2018 and one they predict will continue into 2019. As consumers become ever more concerned with food sustainability, the protection of the environment and the impact of the food they eat on their health, the move away from products made with animal derived ingredients will continue its momentum, they say.
“Central Foods has experienced a significant increase in sales of American pancakes in recent years. We have also seen a large percentage rise in the demand for vegan and plant-based products. Now we can offer vegan American pancakes from Crépe Cuisine which will satisfy both demands,” said Gordon Lauder, MD for Central Foods.
He added that surveys and statistics showed that more people were either giving up meat, dairy and animal-derived products or reducing their intake and eating less meat.“More than 90% of households buy some kind of free-from product, according to Kantar Worldpanel. A study released by comparethemarket.com in 2018 suggests that more than 3.5 million British people now identify as being vegan, which is a big increase since 2016 when The Vegan Society revealed there were approximately 540,000 vegans over the age of 15 living in Britain. The number of ‘flexible vegans and vegetarians’ has grown too, with many happy to eat vegan or vegetarian food occasionally and some experimenting with a fully vegan or vegetarian diet.
“We also know that breakfast is the fastest growing eating out occasion in the UK. There has been a big rise in popularity of breakfast, brunch and all-day breakfasts. According to a recent report from Travelodge, 65% of Britons are socially dining out for breakfast twice a month, with many saying it suits their modern lifestyles and is a time-effective way of meeting for business or socially,” Lauder added.