Interview with Jan Bredack, CEO & Founder, Veganz GmbH

Veganism has long been more than just a trend. This realization is becoming clear to more and more private individuals, as well as commercial enterprises and industries. But there is someone who has always been convinced of this and has positioned himself early in the market with his own chain – Jan Bredack, Managing Director of Veganz GmbH.

With the diverse products of his brand “Veganz” he not only fills the shelves of his own vegan supermarket, but also increasingly the shopping trolleys in the online shopping sector. He has also partnered with companies in brick-and-mortar stores, which are expanding their ranges to include his products. These companies include Rossmann, Edeka, Müller, Kaufland and several others throughout Europe. But that’s not enough for the ambitious Jan Bredack, who already has other markets and new products in mind and wants to conquer them in the not-too-distant future. To find out exactly what the development of the “Veganz” brand will look like in 2018 and the following years, we talked to Jan Bredack personally.

Veganz recently announced a partnership with the French retailer Carrefour in Paris. In which outlets will you be present?

First of all, we are very glad that we have found a strong partner with whom we can successfully continue our commitment to the cultural change to a vegan diet in France. We will start in 150 – 200 outlets in Paris, downtown in the Market, City and Express markets but not currently in the major peripheral markets. The rollout along the Côte d’Azur will take place by the summer. As the year progresses, it will gradually move into various metropolitan areas.

In the meantime, even many market connoisseurs may have lost track of their numerous national and international partnerships. Who are your partners in Europe at the moment?

In Germany, dm, Rossmann and Müller as well as EDEKA, REWE, Kaufland, Globus, Real, Hit and Famila. In Switzerland, coop is our partner. We work with Spar and dm in Austria. Spar is also a partner in Hungary, northern Italy and Slovenia, as well as in Russia, Greece, Portugal and several other countries during the year. Carrefour is our partner in France. In the UK and in Scandinavia, we are in concrete talks. We are currently focusing on Europe.

Asia and the US are certainly also exciting markets, and we are in many discussions with regards to this.

Which countries are currently doing particularly well for Veganz?

We are satisfied with the development in all markets, but Eastern Europe is currently remarkably positive.

How has Veganz started the year, and what do you expect from the rest of 2018?

We are currently a bit behind schedule, as some new launches and contract signings have been delayed. However, we are confident that we will reach our 2018 target.

How big is your selection at the moment, and which new products will you get onto the market in 2018?

We currently offer just under 200 products and are present in virtually all sectors: dry goods, chilled goods and frozen products. There are currently 90 new products in the pipeline for 2018, with many current products also being replaced.

We have just re-launched our pizzas. Protein products are also on the menu: bars, snacks, sausages, cereals, porridges and shakes. Other cheese and meat alternatives are also on the agenda for 2018, as well as fish and fish stick alternatives.

Voices in the market say that the hype surrounding the vegan lifestyle is diminishing, and some manufacturers speak of sales declines. How do you envision the global market will change in the coming years?

We are very optimistic; we are seeing new customers every day who are excited about the benefits of the vegan way of life. The vegan market is currently tapping the “nucleus”, so to speak, well below one percent. There is still a lot of potential, and global development makes us very confident that we will see a lot of growth here. This is confirmed by the numerous inquiries from all over the world that we receive. This assessment is apparently shared by the many conventional companies that have entered the market or are currently preparing to enter the market.

Which product segments will be the drivers in the vegan market in the next 2-3 years?

Naturally, proteins are one of the main focuses for us as part of the football World Cup this year. They will continue to be a major focus in the market in the years to come, with meat and cheese alternatives as well as snacks and convenience foods generally on top of the agenda. Due to their high quality, more and more customers are becoming enthusiastic about these products.

How many products in the range are certified organic, and how many will be in the next two years?

Certifications are an important topic for us, which we pursue very consistently because quality and sustainability are vital to us. Therefore, not only are all of Veganz’s products awarded the European V label, meeting the strict quality standards of the European Vegetarian Union for vegetarian and vegan products, but also about 90% of our products are certified organic. Our German customers and partners attach great importance to this, so we are very well positioned. In other countries, certifications play a minor role, or national certifications are preferred.