The global vegan and vegetarian food market reached a value of US$ 17 Billion in 2020. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to grow at a CAGR of 11.4% during 2021-2026.
The rising incidences of chronic diseases represent one of the primary factors boosting the sales of vegan, vegetarian and plant based food. Besides this, various non-government organizations (NGOs) are spreading awareness regarding the nutritional benefits of an animal-free diet and promoting farm animal welfare. This, along with the increasing consciousness among individuals about animal health and cruelty against animals, is catalysing the vegan food market demand.
Moreover, market players are launching a variety of premium-quality vegan, vegetarian and plant based food items in numerous flavours and attractive packaging solutions to attract a wider consumer base and expand their product portfolio.
The "vegan" and "plant based" claims are increasingly in demand also in the non-food sectors; the growth lever is not the only animal rights ethics but also a greater attention to health and the growing environmental awareness that guides consumers towards new models and lifestyles.
Despite the strong relevance and interest currently encountered on the market, these claims are not regulated and protected by any law, both in the food and non-food sectors. EC Reg. No. 1169/2011, while regulating voluntary information on foods (Article 36), refers to future executive acts the definition of the requirements relating to the suitability of a food for vegetarians or vegans.
Pending the intervention of the legislator, since last March, it is possible to refer to the ISO 23661 standard which finally proposes univocal definitions and technical criteria for vegan, vegetarian and plant based foods.
In order to make communication to the consumer clearer and more transparent and offer greater guarantees to the market, both nationally and internationally, Bioagricert has developed a certification scheme dedicated to vegetarian, vegan and plant based products.
An independent control system (compliant with the EN 17065 standard) which aims to identify, enhance and guarantee products intended for vegetarian and vegan consumers.
A certification that can find excellent synergies with organic certification.
The certification is normally applied to agri-food products, feed and pet food as well as gastronomic preparations and/or menus of catering establishments.
The vegetarian, vegan and plant based certification can also be extended to Non-Food products (cosmetics and detergents, clothing, footwear, etc.) that meet the requirements set by the specification.
In VEGETARIAN PRODUCTS the use of animal products such as milk, eggs, honey is allowed as long as they are produced in farms that comply with European standards on animal welfare. Organic farms or farms that comply with other voluntary regulations that guarantee more restrictive requirements in this regard are to be preferred.
In VEGAN PRODUCTS, the use of any ingredient, adjuvant or manufacturing aid of animal origin is prohibited throughout the production process. No substance of animal origin can be used even indirectly in the production process, even as an additive, excipient, adjuvant or carry-over. The VEGAN attribute implies that, as far as possible and practicable, the animals have never been involved in any phase of production, preparation, treatment or placing on the market. For example, glues of animal origin are also prohibited for attaching labels or sealing packaging.
PLANT BASED PRODUCTS, in addition to being obtained without the use of any ingredient/ adjuvant/ manufacturing aid of animal origin, guarantee the prevalence of plant ingredients and other natural substances or substances of natural origin.
Food products contain at least 95% plant ingredients and natural substances or substances of natural origin.
Cosmetics contain at least 51% of plant ingredients and 95% of natural substances or of natural origin.
The collaboration already started in recent years with the VeganOK association continues, thanks to which companies that want to join this brand can also have third party certification (issued by BAC).