Butters and spreads supplier Upfield has today announced the reformulation of its professional spreads range, to be made with 100% plant-based, including its best-selling spread brand Flora.
Catering formats of Flora Original and Flora Dairy Free, as well as its 10g portion packs, will be made from ingredients from natural origins. The reformulation will offer caterers a spread that has been re-designed to create great tasting food and tap into the growing consumer trend for plant-based diets – which has seen a 300% increase in the last year. It is also vegan friendly, appealing to the 3.5 million consumers in the UK who are now identifying as vegan.
Upfield’s UK & Ireland general manager, Steven Hermiston, commented: “Consumer diets are changing, and there is a great awareness around what people are eating and where that food comes from. With plant-based dishes also growing in popularity, our new range of Flora allows operators to cater to the evolving consumer demands.
“Allergens are also a challenge that the entire industry faces. At home it is easy for consumers to manage special dietary requirements, but when eating out it can be tricky for both the consumer and the operator. Foodservice professionals need solutions which can help them remove allergens from their business – but this cannot mean compromising on taste. By using Flora Dairy Free, operators can serve great tasting dairy free food to all consumers with total confidence.
Alexis Gauthier, chef patron of Gauthier Soho, known for his innovative plant-based menus, has supported Upfield with preparations for the re-launched Flora range.
At a recent press launch to industry journalists, he said: “I’m a big believer that plant-based is the future of cooking, but with that comes new challenges, mainly around taste. Dishes require a lot of experimentation with flavours and ingredients to find great tasting alternatives that are going to satisfy consumers.
“When I tried the new plant-based Flora, I was genuinely surprised. The taste was something I would expect from a traditional butter, while its versatility as a kitchen staple is potentially game changing for vegan cooking. And it’s not just me – my kitchen is full of obsessive, classically trained French chefs who are just as delighted with this new product as I am.”
Upfield (formerly known as KKR) purchased the global spreads business from Unilever on the 15 December 2017, changing its name shortly after completion of the sale.
Alan Black, head of foodservice marketing, Upfield UK & Ireland (and a Vegan himself) told The Caterer at the press launch earlier in March, that he has spent many hours in the Upfield development kitchens tasting the newly formulated brands. “I’ve baked with the new Flora 100% plant-based spread, glazed vegetables and made pastry with it too. It’s a really versatile product, but most importantly it tastes great.”
Other products in the Upfield range include: Ramam, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Blue Band, Proactiv, Becel and Country Cork.