Corporate Engagement

South African meat producer joins the plant-based movement

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Feinschmecker Deli Meats introduces a range of delicious plant-based sandwich slices.

Feinschmecker Deli Meats has built up a strong reputation as the market leader in speciality deli meats in South Africa. With the increased demand for plant-based meat alternatives, the company has recently launched a range of plant-based sandwich slices with the support of ProVeg,under the brand name Güdness. The first range of its kind produced in SA, Güdness is an innovative plant-based alternative to conventional deli meats. The product is delicious on sandwiches and in omelets and pasta, or can simply be enjoyed as an anytime snack. Made from a soy and pea protein base which is completely egg, dairy, and meat free, Güdness is suitable for both vegetarian and vegan diets.

Edge of Innovation

Alistair Hayward, Managing Director at Feinschmecker, who led the development of the Güdness range, acknowledges that the idea of producing a plant-based product did not sound viable at first. “We live in a country that is obsessed with meat. The idea of producing a vegan product sounded like a joke – but I then traveled to Europe to see for myself and I realized that if we want to continue to be at the cutting edge of product innovation for our clients, this project was a must.”

Seeing the light

Hayward’s moment of illumination tooks place when he attended the Food Next Africa Conference in Cape Town in 2018. At the conference, he met Donovan Will, the director of ProVeg South Africa – the South African chapter of ProVeg International, an international food awareness organization working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.

“After talking to the team at ProVeg, I had a better understanding of the benefits of moving towards a plant-based offering and creating a great-tasting meat alternative product for those who miss meat after moving to a plant-based diet”. Hayward is quick to note that plant-based products like these are not only targeted at vegans or vegetarians. Instead, he says, “Most of the growth in the category has been driven by flexitarians who still eat some meat but are trying to cut back or are just trying new options for dietary and/or moral reasons.”

Help from the right place

Hayward worked with ProVeg to source appropriate suppliers and envisage the new product range. “ProVeg has extensive experience in assisting companies wanting to develop plant- based ranges. They helped us find the right suppliers and provided consulting on brand messaging and the plant-based landscape. Without ProVeg it’s unlikely that this product would ever have seen the light of day.”

Güdness Sandwich Slices are currently available in five variants (Original, Smoked, Piquante Peppers, Olive, and Chives). They landed on the shelves of nationwide retailer Checkers in December 2019, and are available countrywide in a number of other retailers and private delis. By all accounts, the Güdness range has been very well received by the market so far. To find out more, check out www.gudness.co.za

Getting Smart about the future of protein

Verena Wiederkehr was recently interviewed by Andreas Menn from WirtschaftsWoche, about the EU-funded Smart Protein research project and developments in the alternative protein sector. Here is a lightly edited extract from the interview.

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