Ikea Will Launch Vegan Pork Cutlet in Hong Kong Later this Month

Anna Starostintskaya wrote . . . . . . . . .

For the month of June, IKEA will offer vegan pork cutlets on its menus in Hong Kong. The OmniPork cutlets are made by Hong Kong-based vegan brand OmniFoods which was founded by David Yeung, an eco-conscious entrepreneur who owns social enterprise Green Monday. The vegan pork cutlets will be served over a penne pasta dish topped with cheese and lobster sauce (which can be omitted) at IKEA for HK $46 (USD $5.93). In addition to its home turf of Hong Kong, OmniFoods aims to make an appearance on the IKEA menu in Thailand and China.

Other plant-based options at IKEA Hong Kong—versions of which are also available in other regions—include a meatless version of its Swedish meatballs served alongside quinoa, green beans, and tomato stew; a veggie burger on its kids menu; a vegan hot dog; and durian-flavored oat milk-based soft serve.

IKEA’s meatballs go plant-based

Adding the new OmniPork vegan cutlets to its Hong Kong locations is part of IKEA’s sustainability goal of shifting its global menus to 50 percent plant-based by 2025. IKEA is transitioning its menus to do its part in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, a large portion of which it says are produced by the animal agriculture industry.

In 2015, IKEA launched the first vegan version of its popular Swedish meatballs and reformulated it into a meatier “plant ball” in 2020. Available on IKEA menus in Europe, Asia, the United States, and other regions, the vegan meatball is made with yellow pea protein, oats, potatoes, onion, and apple and carries only 4 percent of the carbon footprint produced by its animal meat-based meatball. To make it attractive to customers, IKEA prices the vegan meatballs similarly to its animal meat-based counterparts ($5.99 for an adult plate at IKEA bistros in the US) and sells bags of them under the name HUVUDROLL in its grocery section.

“At IKEA, we sell more than one billion meatballs every year. Imagine if we could get some of our many meatball lovers to choose the plant-ball instead,” Sharla Halvorson, Health & Sustainability Manager for IKEA’s global food business, said. “If we were to convert about 20 percent of our meatball sales to plant balls, that would mean around 8 percent reduction of our climate footprint for the food business at IKEA. In order to reduce the climate footprint of the IKEA food business, we need to reduce the amount of traditional meatballs that we sell.”

IKEA bets on plant-based to fight climate change

To further push the sustainability needle, IKEA has also begun offering vegan versions of its other meat-based items in stores. In 2018, IKEA added a vegan hot dog to its European outlets—where it sold one million vegan hot dogs in two months. Shortly thereafter, IKEA expanded the vegan hot dog—made with kale, red lentils, carrots, and ginger—to all locations in the US, Canada, and Australia. In addition to its Hong Kong locations, IKEA also offers dairy-free soft serve in other locations, including the US, Canada, and Europe.

In 2020, IKEA introduced an expansive plant-based menu at its locations in Japan, which included vegan katsu curry (made with a soy cutlet instead of traditional pork or chicken), vegan cabbage rolls, plant-based lasagne, kebab salads and wraps, vegan hot dogs and meatballs, plant-based chocolate mousse, and strawberry soft serve—which IKEA also offers as a sundae in Japan.

Source: Veg News

In Pictures: Food of Vegan Restaurants in London, U.K. (2)

The American Vegan Center will Open in Philadelphia in June, 2021

Anna Starostinetsksya wrote . . . . . . . . .

Philadelphia, PA is the city where the United States vegetarian and vegan movements began. The new vegan welcome center will feature a store (selling everything from vegan books to T-shirts to Philadelphia-specific vegan souvenirs), event space, and information center that will offer Old City vegan history tours to promote cruelty-free living to tourists and the general public. Situated near the home of Benjamin Franklin (who introduced America to tofu), the center is operated by The American Vegan Society (AVS), the longest-running vegan advocacy organization in the US, in partnership with vegan columnist Vance Lehmkuhl, the author of Eating Vegan in Philly.

On June 15, The American Vegan Center will hold its first public event to commemorate the anniversary of the establishment of the American branch of the vegetarian Bible Christian Church in Philadelphia in 1817—the first vegetarian group in the US. The event will feature cartooning, tours, free giveaways, and more. “Our city’s veg history is very rich and very much worth knowing,” Lehmkuhl said.

Future events at the center are scheduled to begin in late 2021 and will focus on book signings, cooking classes, presentations, and discussion groups. The center will also promote vegan-themed events and plant-based food options throughout Philadelphia and serve as a celebration site for holidays such as Philly Vegan Day, World Vegan Month, and Vegan Cheesesteak Day.

How the vegan movement began

While lifestyles free from animal products have existed all around the world for centuries, the term “vegan” was officially coined in 1944 by woodworker Donald Watson, who founded The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom.

Veganism was popularized in the United States by Jay Dinshah, who went vegan in 1957 after touring a slaughterhouse in Philadelphia and founded AVS in 1960. “Now that ‘vegan’ has arrived, AVS is happy to join the city’s wonderful vegan community and welcome people to Philadelphia,” AVS President Freya Dinshah, wife of the late founder who has helped operate the organization for more than 60 years, said.

Source: Veg News

Just Egg Launched Vegan Jianbing (煎餅) in Shanghai, China

Nicole Axworthy wrote . . . . . . . . .

In honor of World Jianbing Day, California-based food technology company Eat Just is launching a JUST Egg Jianbing Guide that highlights the top street vendors in Shanghai offering a vegan jianbing—a traditional Chinese breakfast street food similar to crepes—made with the company’s mung bean-based JUST Egg.

Alongside the launch, the brand and its Future Food Studio is launching a JUST Egg jianbing pop-up featuring creative flavors at all-day breakfast cafe Egg every day for one month.

Last October, Eat Just opened the Future Food Studio in Shanghai—the first all plant-based culinary studio in China. The studio offers cooking classes using JUST Egg taught by chef collaborators. In addition, Eat Just designed a WeChat mini program through which students could sign up for classes. The JUST Egg Jianbing Guide can be accessed through the Future Food Studio mini program where they will also have access to recipes, discounts, and updates from Eat Just.

Vegan eggs in China

Eat Just created the jianbing guide and street vendor offerings as part of an ongoing effort to introduce its plant-based egg products to Chinese consumers. Earlier this year, one of China’s top fast-food chains, Dicos, added several menu items made with vegan JUST Egg to its menu at 500 locations—marking the first time a major fast-food restaurant has swapped an animal-based product with a plant-based one across multiple regular menu offerings. JUST Egg is now featured as part of three breakfast burgers, three bagel sandwiches, and a “Western” breakfast plate.

Source: Veg News

In Pictures: Food of Vegan Restaurants in London, U.K.