If you supply confectionery to other businesses or direct to customers, you'll be aware consumer preferences have been changing over the last few years, as more Australians are choosing to forgo animal products. This has led to an increase in the number of food businesses that offer vegan-friendly products, so if you want your business to remain competitive, it makes sense to include confectionery products in your range that are free of animal products. Here are a few tips for ensuring your business can serve this growing demographic:
Know Your Ingredients
There are a number of ingredients commonly found in confectionery that are not consumed by vegans. Some ingredients, such as gelatine and milk, are obviously derived from animals. However, there are other ingredients that aren't as obvious. Whey, lactic acid, glycerine and some food additives are derived from animals and cannot be contained in products marketed to vegan customers.
Whey is a by-product of the cheese industry and is used as a flour conditioner, skimmed milk substitute and flavour enhancer. Lactic acid can be derived from plant or dairy sources. Unless a product containing lactic acid is specifically marked as being suitable for vegans, you will need to contact the manufacturer to determine the source of the lactic acid.
Glycerine can be used as a thickener, sweetener and preservative and is common ingredient found in lollipops, pastilles and boiled sweets. Glycerine is derived from fat, and like lactic acid, it can be derived from animal or vegetable sources. If a product containing glycerine is marked as suitable for vegetarians and contains no other ingredients derived from animals, you can feel assured the glycerine is from plant sources. Some food additives commonly found in sweets are derived from animals, such as carminic acid, cochineal, shellac and L-cysteine, and you can find comprehensive lists of non-vegan food additives online.
Promote Accidentally Vegan Products In Your Range
If you're interested in marketing your confectionery to vegan customers, but don't want to risk buying speciality products that might not sell, you can start by promoting the products you already stock that just happen to be suitable for vegans. Commonly stocked confectionery items that are suitable for vegans include Skittles, Life Savers, Chupa Chups lollies, Sour Patch Kids, Ricci liquorice, Pez candies, Spooky Skull lollipops, Whittaker's dark chocolate and Uncle Toby's fruit fix.
Offer A Selection Of Speciality Vegan Brands
If you want to offer vegan confectionery that's not widely available and feel certain the products you are promoting as vegan are indeed free from animal products, you should consider stocking a selection of vegan brands. This removes the risk of you promoting a product as vegan that isn't actually suitable and can attract new customers who want to support smaller brands and companies that are dedicated to veganism. Examples of vegan confectionery brands and products include Bio Moments lollipops, Dandies marshmallows, Eco Vital gums and Biona lollipops, mints and jellies.
Offering a range of confectionery that's suitable for vegans doesn't have to be complicated or involve a sizeable initial outlay. If you'd like some further guidance or have a query about an ingredient in one of your products, you can contact Peta Australia for confirmation of a product's suitability.