The health food segment focusing on plant-based foods, dairy alternatives and naturally sugar-free products continues to flourish with a growing demand and popularity among consumers. The restaurant industry is facing a large change around the world as the foodservice sector continues to expand and innovate within this category. To fulfil consumers ever-changing demands and tastes, operators are looking at developing new menus that cater for this “health-conscious” segment. In the light of such changes, Chef Middle East supports its customers and announces the launch of 3 new brands, Rude Health, Violife and Wheyhey to start forming a health focused proposition on its markets
“Chef Middle East has a very strong existing Dairy portfolio. However, with new trends around dairy alternatives , we decided to onboard Violife for Cheese alternative and Rude Health for Milk alternative. Both brands represent a very superior quality of products that sits right in line with CME’s positioning. Though there are dairy alternatives available in market, most are focused around the retail sector. However, Violife and Rude Health have a range of products that are developed alongside chefs with technical applications in mind. For instance, the Barista milk range from Rude Health and the alternatives of cream cheese, mozzarella, greek feta and much more from Violife.” commented Jiji Mathews, Dairy Category Manager at Chef Middle East.
The Dairy alternatives space is one of the fastest-growing categories, with non-dairy milk driving the market.
Romy Brackel, Senior International Account Manager at Rude Health commented:
“At Rude Health, we don’t believe in compromises. Our dairy-free drinks are the best alternatives to milk. Dairy-free, flavours and quality full. They are carefully crafted, using the highest quality, sustainably sourced and most natural ingredients. We’re here to add value to your offering, signalling to the world that quality really is at the heart of your business. The range includes Dairy free drinks: Almond, Coconut & Oat (Gluten free), a barista range: Barista Oat, Barista Almond and Barista Soy. Rude Health is the No. 1 Organic dairy alternative brand in the UK, 3rd Biggest dairy alternative brand in the UK and the proud winner of 9 Great Taste Awards in 2020.”
“Chef Middle East stands for premium quality through inspiring culinary craftsmanship, just like we do.
With their focus on up and midmarket segment, their current distribution focus is the right fit for Rude Health. We are confident that with CME, we can make a better dairy alternative offering available to many operators in the UAE. The demand for dairy free drinks is growing year on year and Rude Health will keep on innovating drinks at a fast pace.” said Brackel
Cheese alternatives are predicted to be the next hit in plant-based innovation.
Andrew Harrison, Sales Director at Upfield Middle East said:
“We are launching Violife® range of 100% vegan, dairy-free alternatives to cheese in the Middle East. Available in slices, blocks, grated and creamy in original, cheddar and mozzarella flavours, , consumers and diners can now enjoy delicious toasty, pizza, lasagna, sandwich, cheesecake and more but the ‘vegan way’, with Violife. With more than 30 years of development and production experience, Violife® is the global leader in vegan alternatives to cheese with a proud history of making great tasting, vegan products. These products are 100% free from preservatives and allergens such as dairy, lactose, gluten, nuts and soy. They are fortified with vitamin B12 and made from coconut oil, which is known for its health benefits. Violife® is owned by Upfield, the world’s largest plant-based food company; focused on natural ingredients, as well as kinder, more natural processes that deliver great tasting healthier products with superior quality and performance.”
Harrison added: “Chef Middle East has been a business partner with Upfield for over 2 years, through which Chef Middle East has demonstrated its great strengths as a leading distributor of the finest quality food and beverage into the food service channels. We have an aligned strategy of driving high quality, plant based and vegan solutions into our customers so that their diners are delighted every day. . We are focused on driving the plant-based agenda in the Middle East region within all foodservice channels as we see the plant-based categories growing triple digits with customers looking for solutions to meet their diners’ new requirements..”
Additionally, Pooja Bhatt, Pastry Category Manager at Chef Middle East, commented about the distributor’s new partnership with Wheyhey brand: “Our new partnership with Wheyhey will reinforce our ambition to be the one stop shop for our customers. Over the past years, we have solidified our pastry and bakery offering by launching new brands to complete our existing portfolio. We constantly assess our markets’ needs and witnessed an increased demand for sugar free solutions and observed that our customers, mostly Chefs, look for treats where guests can indulge while keeping attention to their health and calorie intake. The health component is generally becoming key and we loved Wheyhey’s mission to make delicious snacks healthy with a commitment towards sustainability.”
Mark Dutton, Strategic Director at Wheyhey said:
“We position our range as great tasting healthy treats with a twist… they are not just healthier… they are good for you! We offer ice cream that is Naturally sugar free, high in protein and low calorie. We use the best of milk to create the creaminess of our ice cream – made using local produce from local farmers we know and trust.
Chef Middle East is held in high esteem both locally and internationally for sourcing and supplying the best quality ingredients and products to their customers. For Wheyhey, working with Chef Middle East gives the whole team a huge sense of pride that such a prestigious partner would join us on our journey to change how people find and eat healthy food.
UAE is a cornerstone market for the Wheyhey brand, and Chef Middle East is the foundation in that market for us. What we will achieve with Chef Middle East in the region will dictate and influence how we operate with our other partners in the Middle East and in other regions such as China and the US. We also feel that the UAE is a very knowledgeable market – we are sure we will learn a lot about our brand from local consumers and experts at Chef Middle East.”
The change in lifestyles, food habits and health awareness is driving the trend in the market for operators to innovate and offer consumers what they are looking for in terms of healthy offerings and the level of quality they want in food. This shift from a traditional diet to a health-conscious diet is becoming a priority for a lot of food brands to top their menus with such options. The priority remains in quality and consistency, two major elements that Chef Middle East ensures are on top of the list with class-A brands that share the same values and mission.
About Rude Health – https://rudehealth.com/
Life Tastes better when you live your bright way. We’re Rude Health, a dynamic, purpose-led brand… and we’re growing fast. We started mixing the Ultimate Muesli at our kitchen table in 2005. It’s now a bigger table, but our approach to food and drink is the same. Brilliant ingredients. Nothing artificial. Nothing refined. We’re on a mission: to make the healthy choice a celebration not a sacrifice.
We believe that drinks can be dairy-free and full of flavour, eating should be joyful and that healthy definitely doesn’t mean bland or boring. That’s why we make foods and drinks that taste naturally good but are also good for you. A life lived in rude health.
About Upfield, Producer of Violife products – https://violifefoods.com/:
At Upfield, we make people healthier and happier with great tasting, plant-based nutrition products that are better for the planet. As a global plant-based company, Upfield is the #1 producer of plant-based spreads & cheeses with more than 100 brands, including iconic brands Flora™, Rama, Blue Band, Proactiv, Becel, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Country Crock and Violife®. With headquarters in Amsterdam, we sell our products in over 95 countries and have 15 production facilities throughout the world. The company employs over 4200 Associates. Since 1871, we have been the authority in the spreads category which gives us unmatched experience, know-how and inspiration. We are focused on leading in this new era focused on delivering healthier products that are great tasting and have superior quality and helps us deliver on our mission to create “Better Plant-based Future.
About Wheyhey – https://wheyhey.com/:
Wheyhey (pronounced We’hey; a term used to express delight, pleasure, self-achievement and excitement… All in one) The founder of the business, Damien Kennedy, watched his Diabetic mum eat a dessert which claimed to be healthy, although it was packed full of sugar and nasty ingredients. He set off on a mission to create the world’s first truly great tasting healthy ice cream from his kitchen in London. Fast forward 6 years – Wheyhey is an award-winning healthy food business, working with some of the most prestigious retailers and hospitality operators in the world. Our business encourages everyone to Live outrageously well… As we like to say “Be good to yourself because a healthy body lets you do amazing things”. We work with the Diabetes & Obesity task force in London to help create an environment where eating great tasting, healthy food is the norm!