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The vegan community went into melt-down this week with the news that Ben & Jerry’s dairy free ice cream is coming to the UK. The certified vegan products have been available in the US for over a year, with flavours including Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Chunky Monkey. The Ben & Jerry’s team uses almond milk to re-create the rich and creamy taste of regular ice cream, without the need for any animal products. But the brand is taking its sweet time – there’s no confirmed release date yet.

The number of vegans has rocketed by 350% to more than half a million in a decade, and MCA* puts flexitarianism in the top five most important food trends. So it’s no wonder the demand for vegan products is growing.

Those looking to try the vegan lifestyle are in luck. Vegan products already on the market include Mr Kipling’s Jam Tarts, Rowntree’s Jelly Tots and the Lindt EXCELLENCE vegan chocolate range. When it comes to gummy sweets, many manufacturers are substituting gelatine for pectin to make products like Starburst vegan friendly in the UK (although its US counterpart is still made with gelatine).

With the vegan trend here to stay, the opportunities for operators to maximise revenue with animal product free lines are greater than ever. We can’t wait to see Ben & Jerry’s dairy free Cherry Garcia on the shelves.

*MCA Menu and Food Trends 2017

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