Transform your Christmas classics with plant-based festive alternatives - Jeff Hodgson

If there’s a time of year that people care most about traditions, it’s Christmas, especially when it comes to food. Every family has their firm favourites, their chosen centre piece, the sides, pre-dinner canapes and choice of breakfast, accompanied by the all-important Buck’s Fizz. But what happens when things – particularly eating habits – change?

Baxters expert chef, Darren Sivewright
Baxters expert chef, Darren Sivewright

For many, this is a reality as more and more of us start to follow a plant-based diet.

Traditionally, Christmas dinner is centred around poultry and red meat, accompanied by lashings of vegetables, creamy sauces and cheeses. As demand for plant-based alternatives continues to grow year on year, supermarkets and consumers are looking to Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands for delicious alternatives that satisfy those seasonal cravings and are as special as the traditional Christmas food.

Although the plant-based trend isn’t new, we’ve noticed that the types of products people are looking for has changed. When you say plant-based, often people think about meals that must be made from scratch using an extensive list of ingredients, but consumers are now looking for plant-based products that they can make in minutes, especially as we enter the festive season.

At the beginning of last year, we launched Baxters first ever Plant Based soup range, which plays to our strengths in offering a convenient option but still delivering on exciting and innovative flavours. Our Plant Based range has been one of our most successful launches ever and sold over 1million tins last year. As a result of the reaction to the range, direct consumer feedback, and market demand for more plant based, vegan products, we launched three new vibrant, vegan friendly soup flavours in August - Spiced Red Lentil; Sundried Tomato & Thyme and Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry.

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The vibrant flavours join our bestselling line-up of plant powered soups including: Jackfruit, Three Bean & Chipotle; Sri Lankan Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash & Lentil Dhansak. As with all Baxters products, each recipe is personally tested and approved by fourth generation family and CEO Audrey Baxter, to ensure consumers are guaranteed the innovative taste and quality they have come to expect from the brand.

Adding more flavour and texture while ensuring there’s no compromise on taste are key priorities when tapping into the vegan market, as it’s often a barrier for those looking to switch to a plant-based option.

From Soups to Beetroot, Chutneys and Condiments, Baxters is adapting to consumer demand and has ensured that there’s something for all our vegan customers throughout the festive period and beyond.

Our expert chef, Darren Sivewright has created 20 new, seasonal recipes designed to help shoppers have a stress-free Christmas in the kitchen. If you’re cooking for or following a plant-based diet yourself, you can transform Christmas classics by glazing Nut Roast with Baxters Chutney, pairing fried brussels sprouts with a Tomato Chutney Dressing and braising cabbage with sweet Redcurrant Jelly. We’re continuously developing serving suggestions that bring a boost of flavour to plant-based dishes – to rival the traditional Christmas centrepieces.

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With people following a plant-based diet throughout the entire year, Veganuary is still an exciting time for Baxters as we know even more Brits are gearing up to try a vegan lifestyle in January 2022 and we’re excited to launch even more convenient, delicious plant-based options in the future.

Baxters’ plant-based range will only grow over the next twelve months and in the meantime, our vegan customers can still expect exciting flavours and recipe inspiration ahead of the festive season as it’s clear the Plant Based trend will continue to rise and evolve in coming years.

Jeff Hodgson is Marketing Director of Baxters Food Group.

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