Yunn Lim
Regional Market Analyst. Responsible for research and production of Mintel Market Sizes (MMS) reports on Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

As plant-based diets are increasingly popular across APAC, the reasons that drive consumers toward a vegan lifestyle have also evolved. Consumers now expect brands to innovate and deliver vegan products that align with their values and stand out from the crowd. As World Vegan Day (1st of November) approaches, we highlight the latest vegan product innovations from APAC, using Mintel’s Global New Product Database (GNPD).

Reinvent vegan food using unconventional ingredients

As the majority of Thai consumers would like to see more varieties of non-dairy milk products, this is a good opportunity for brands to be more creative with the vegan alternatives used in their products.

Snappea Plant-Based Milk (Malaysia)

Snappea, a vegan-friendly alternative to milk (Malaysia)

Source: Mintel GNPD

Soy and nut milk has been the mainstream ingredient in plant-based milks. Hence, Snappea is modernizing the category by introducing peas as the main protein source. Pea milk is not only suitable for people allergic to soy or gluten but it also requires less water and fertilizer than farming other sources of plant-based proteins. As health and sustainability are part of the main drivers for consumers in a plant-based diet, there is an opportunity for brands to explore and introduce familiar ingredients as an alternative option.

Organic Red Jackfruit Meat (Australia)

Rasto Organic – The Tender table (Australia)

Source: Mintel GNPD

The Tender Table uses jackfruit as a meat substitute by marinating it in coconut milk and spices, as a perfect filling for burgers and tacos. Young jackfruit meat is said to have a similar texture to animal meat once cooked.  According to Mintel GNPD, there have been very few launches of products using jackfruit as meat substitute in APAC. Although this tropical fruit is common in South Asia and South-East Asia, there is still untapped potential for jackfruit in packaged foods, especially as a meat substitute in ready meals.

Make vegan food fun again

As almost seven in ten Thai consumers agree that protein substitutes should be as appealing as animal-based products, it’s time for vegan brands to level up their products.

Fairy wings vegan chocolate (Australia)

Hey Tiger – Fairy Wings Vegan Chocolate

Source: Mintel GNPD

This vegan milk chocolate bar was launched in collaboration with Australian artist Claire Ritchie, where she designed the colourful and quirky packaging. Fairy Bread is sliced bread spread with butter and covered in rainbow sprinkles, typically served at children’s parties in Australia and New Zealand. By upgrading the childhood snack into a more sophisticated format, this serves as an effective way to evoke childhood memories and provide a sense of comfort, especially during these unprecedented times.

Artisan cashew cheese (New Zealand)

Savour – Artisan and Cultured Ash Dairy Free Cashew Cheese (New Zealand)

Source: Mintel GNPD

There is a common misconception that plant-based diets are strict and boring. Savour artisan cheese is the perfect product that proves that a plant-based diet can be fun and appealing too. Their cheeses are all organic, plant-based and made with cultured cashew nuts. What makes it stand out is the smoked cheddar is layered with activated charcoal to give it a dark and dramatic appearance. This plays well into Mintel’s trend Sense of the Intense, where we are seeing more experimental consumers seeking out products that stimulate their senses for relaxation or just simple enjoyment.