Monday, January 30, 2006

Vegans on the March to take over World

The Observer | Food monthly | Peace, love and profit - meet the world's richest organic grocer

UK Retail Grocery trade and in particular Holland & Barrett with their vegan pork pies and stranglehold on the UK retail health food business should be looking out for this man.

John Mackey is a vegan who means business - a business valued at $5bn Sales are expected to top $12bn in the US by 2010.

He has spent £21 million taking over Fresh and Wild and is currently refurbishing London Department Store, Barkers to give us the UK's biggest ever Health Food & Wholefood Store. He has plans to have a whole Foods store in every major city in the UK.

Mackey asks: 'Are you familiar with Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs? His theory is that our first and most important needs are physical - food, water, sex. When those needs get met, other needs begin to assert themselves - safety, belonging, having a sense of love and friendship, then self-esteem. Beyond that it is self-actualisation.'

Whole Foods' journey to self-actualisation has taken time - some 25 years so far - and Britain is the company's first overseas investment. Mackey is anticipating a certain amount of scepticism. 'They said our first store in Austin would not work. Then they said it would not work outside Austin, that it would not work outside Texas, that we would never succeed in California or Chicago or New York. People dismissed us sort of a fad, just a bunch of weird food hippies. But we've proved them wrong everywhere we've gone, and we'll carry on.'

Over the last two-and-a-half decades, Mackey has proved almost everyone wrong and, in the process, has turned conventional business wisdom on its head. He has transformed 'hippy business' from a recipe for disaster to a prescription for world-beating - and, perhaps, world-changing - growth. Whole Foods is battling the industrialisation of farming. It sells natural food from reputable, small-scale suppliers.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dairy food industry uses vegan ingredients for health

Having obviously finally grasped the concept of veganism and the benefits to health, Dairy manufacturers have started using plant foods in a last ditch attempt to hold on to their market share in the face of more people eating vegan than ever before.

Spotted this in the Independent On Sunday 22nd Jan.....

MiniCol cheese

The product MiniCol - a healthy alternative to cheese, in which all buttermilk has been replaced by wheatgerm oil.

What it claims Plant sterols in the oil help to reduce the absorption of cholesterol through the gut. It's guilt-free dairy overweight people can eat.

Where to get it £1.98 for 195g, from supermarkets