Manufacturers of plant-based products should prepare for increased scrutiny from retailers, food safety certification experts Lloyd's Register has said.
Many consumers are partaking in 'Veganuary' this year, which can lead to increased consumption of plant-based products.
Around 440,000 consumers are to take part in Veganuary this year, driving the demand for plant-based products.
Retailers such as Tesco are taking advantage of this trend by launching an in-store Veganuary competition offering a £1,000 prize, while others have increased the number of vegan-friendly products on offer.
However, Lloyd's predicts an increase in the level of scrutiny applied to the manufacturers of plant-based products.
One in five UK consumers declared themselves to be 'not confident at all' or 'very suspicious' about claims made by vegan products, according to research conducted by the body.
Kimberly Carey Coffin, global technical director at Lloyds Register, said that "transparency is vital" to gain consumer trust in plant-based products.
Coffin added that the "management of any potential cross-contamination with animal-derived products or materials used in the production environment" is vital to guaranteeing meat-free products and increasing consumers' confidence.
An industry-standard method to assure consumers of food quality standards was introduced in 2020.
Lloyd's Register became the first certification body approved to audit against the BRCGS Plant-Based Standard.
This standard is crucial in delivering quality vegan products when the demand is projected to "grow rapidly," according to Coffin.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.