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Upfield’s #Makeitplant campaign makes a case for sustainable food in the Middle East

Through this campaign, the plant-based food company aims to help chefs expand their menu options for the Middle East market.

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

One of the most significant food trends and opportunities for entrepreneurs in the F&B industry has been a rising demand for plant-based alternatives. The number of flexitarians on the lookout for plant-based options that ensure conscious consumption is growing. However, the plant-based food industry still has a long way to go in the Middle East. 

Among the world’s largest plant-based food companies, Upfield will announce the launch of its #makeitplant campaign at this year’s Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2022 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from May 30 to June 2. The #makeitplant campaign aims to support and encourage chefs to focus on sustainable and dairy-free alternatives by providing them with an expansive range of plant-based options for their menus. Junior and aspiring head chefs will also be educated about using plant-based ingredients in the kitchen to promote eco-conscious dining.

With the support of Violife, Upfield’s alternative to dairy cheese, the company aims to encourage and support the hospitality industry with the increasing demand for plant-based food. 

“We are at a pivotal moment, whereby people worldwide need and want to change the way they eat,” said Reinier Weerman, General Manager –Middle East & North Africa, Upfield, in a statement. “Chefs can be at the forefront of this change by guiding their customers towards more plant-based food and showing just because something is not dairy does not mean it cannot be delicious. Through the introduction of this campaign, we hope to help chefs expand their menus with plant-based, planet-friendly options.”

According to Weerman, Upfield’s professionals will lead restaurants and chefs in the right direction to modify their menus and cater to all types of diners.

“We have noted a sharp increase in consumers switching to plant-based meals recently,” Weerman added. “Covid-19 made us all re-evaluate our habits, and growing concerns about the environment and animal welfare continue to drive this shift toward plant-based, health-conscious diets. We believe everyone can make a difference and the #makeitplant campaign hopes to ensure chefs provide more options and consumers soon have more options when they dine out. Ultimately, it challenges the food industry to do more for the planet.” 

The Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2022 is a biennial event hosted by the world association of chefs’ societies and represents 10 million culinary artists worldwide. The event will attract up to 2,000 chefs from more than 105 countries. The four-day event will feature masterclasses, panel discussions, competitions, and expert-hosted seminars, while the UAE’s annual Expo Culinaire and its signature Salon Culinaire will also run in tandem. 

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