NETHERLANDS – Dutch meat alternatives innovator, The Vegetarian Butcher, has been working on a plant-based smoked sausage with a traditional taste for the past seven years.

According to FoodingredientsFirst, the aim was to create a product that would taste great, even for typical meat eaters.

The plant-based food market is growing at double-digit rates and expected to reach US$5.2 billion worldwide by 2020, according to Nestlé.

CAGR in new product launches featuring the plant-based claims such as “plant-based” and “100 percent plant,” has grown at 60% from 2012-2016.

According to data from Innova Market Insights, there has been a 45% average annual growth of food & beverage launches with a vegan positioning (CAGR, 2013-2017).

New launches with a vegan positioning increased its market penetration in Europe from 1.5 percent in 2013, to 7 percent in 2017.

There has also been a 55 percent average annual growth for new food & beverage launches with a vegan positioning in Europe (CAGR, 2013-2017).

The Vegetarian Butcher said it is aimed at allowing meat eaters to ensure that they don’t have to miss out on taste experiences if they reduce their meat intake or remove it altogether from their diet.

The animal-friendly smoked sausage will be widely available in Dutch supermarkets from October 2018.

“The fact that we, together with sausage makers and flavor specialists, worked on this product for seven years, shows how much importance we attach to developing a great smoked sausage from all aspects.

This was the longest development trajectory in our entire product range. And more is coming: we are keen to bring more vegan news in the near future,” said Jaap Korteweg, Founder and Director of The Vegetarian Butcher.

When De Vegetarian Slager won the Triodos Bank Hart Price in 2011, Jaap Korteweg promised to invest the prize money of €10,000 into the development of a no meat smoked sausage.

Korteweg was twice selected as Entrepreneur of the Year and finished runner-up in the Sustainable 100 list for Dutch newspaper Trouw (2017).

The Vegetarian Butcher also won the Bronze Ball in the De Telegraaf (the best-selling Dutch newspaper) meatball competition with 45 entries, 44 of which were based on real meat.

Since 2007, Korteweg has been working with an enthusiastic team on a so-called vegetarian revolution.

The company was voted Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 and 2016.

Products from the brand are now available at more than 4,000 outlets in 15 countries worldwide.

However, for the time being, the smoked sausage will only be available in the Netherlands.

This product, with traditional Dutch roots, tastes best eaten without cutlery, on a roll with sauerkraut and mustard or with mash, according to the Vegetarian Butcher.