Seven Dutch Brands Agree to Make 50% of Recipes on Their Packaging Meat-Free

Following campaigning by animal rights group Wakker Dier, seven brands in the Netherlands — Conimex, Fairtrade Original, Jumbo, Knorr, Koh Tai, Patak’s, and Plus — have agreed to make 50% of the suggested recipes on their product packaging meat-free.

Another two major brands — Grand’Italia and Lassie — already feature 50% vegetarian or vegan recipes, while Albert Heijn and Maggi have pledged to add plant-based tips to their packaging but not to remove meat from half of recipes. Just one of the brands approached, Honig, said it would not make any changes.

After analysing 657 recipes on product packaging, Wakker Dier found that over 80% currently feature meat or fish. The group points out that the Health Council of the Netherlands recommends eating 60% plant-based proteins, while currently just 40% of proteins consumed in the Netherlands are from plants. Following the pledges made by major brands, hundreds of the recipes analysed will become meat-free.

“These brands inspire consumers and show that you don’t have to cook the old-fashioned way with meat every day,” said Collin Molenaar of Wakker Dier. “Packages are ideally intended to inspire consumers with simple dishes. And so they can also help people to choose plant-based more often.”

Young couple cooking in kitchen ProVeg
Image courtesy ProVeg International

Promoting good habits

Over the past year, Wakker Dier has had a huge impact on the protein transition by convincing Dutch caterers to serve 60% plant-based proteins by 2030. Ten companies made the commitment in September, agreeing to monitor and publicly report the ratio of plant-based to animal proteins they sell. A further six caterers joined in December.

The development came a few months after figures revealed that meat sales in the Netherlands had declined for nine consecutive quarters.

“These caterers together make a huge impact for the animals,” said Molenaar in December. “If people experience how tasty and easy it is to eat fewer animals, they can also continue that good habit at home.”

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