Chinese seasoning brand Weipa has launched a vegan version of its highly popular soup stock. The new seasoning is free of the pork and chicken extracts found in the conventional variety.
Vegan Weipa is certified by the UK Vegan Society and made with ingredients such as vegetable-derived amino acids, corn, wheat, and soybeans. Since its initial launch in April, the product has proved hugely popular, frequently selling out despite costing almost 30% more than the original version.
The animal-free seasoning is currently available in Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, and will be launching in Australia later this month. Currently, 24,000 cans of vegan Weipa are being produced per month, but distributor Kouki Shoko is considering increasing this in response to high demand. The company says the plant-based product is comparable in taste to conventional Weipa.
“Although it’s a vegan product, it has a rich, full-bodied flavour,” Bao Yaozong, president of Kouki Shoko, told Nikkei Asia.
Many seasonings traditionally contain meat extracts or dairy products, but the number of alternatives available is on the rise. For example, clean-label Los Angeles brand Watson’s launched a range of vegan seasonings in January, including mushroom-based blend Yumami and Japanese blend Furikake.
In 2020, Food Culture Lab launched a vegan kimchi seasoning that proved extremely popular, selling out in the US within a few weeks. And at around the same time, Fuchs introduced a collection of vegan seasonings, flavours, and bases for foodservice, including Creamy Garlic Sauce Base and Vegan Burger Base.
“The plant-based food industry is exploding right now. Consumers are turning to vegan alternatives for their favorite foods for a variety of reasons – primarily health and environmental concerns,” said Shannon Cushen, Fuchs’ director of marketing. “Our newest collection offers tasty seasoning solutions designed specifically for highly in-demand vegan foods. Each of these blends delivers craveable flavors that will keep consumers coming back for more.”