This month the international café chain Costa Coffee added vegan whipped cream to all of its 140 locations across Poland. The chain first tested the new Vege Kreme at locations in Warsaw and Krakow before expanding the option nationwide. The vegan whipped cream is made by the European brand Flora, owned by Upfield, the parent company of the vegan cheese brand Violife. While customers looking for vegan options had to order fall beverages without whipped cream before the market launch, Vege Kream – made with Flora Professional 31 percent – is now available as a direct replacement for milk-based whipped cream.
“I am pleased that the professionals in the catering market, but also the consumers themselves, have once again confirmed that Flora Plant is a universal and reliable product that works perfectly instead of conventional whipped cream”, Wiktor Orliński, Marketing Manager Foodservice at Upfield , called.
Coffee chains come in vegan whipped cream
While the locations in Poland are fortunate to have vegan whipped cream, Costa Coffee in the UK has made great strides in other vegan options. In 2018, the chain began its foray into the plant world with the launch of a coconut latt and vegan Paradise slice in more than 2,000 UK locations. Since then, Costa Coffee has added vegan options to its menu, including foods like the Smokey Ham & CheeZe Toastie, to keep up with demand. Earlier this month, Costa hired Martin Jordan, who looks just like celebrity chef and former vegan critic Gordon Ramsay, to promote its latest launch: the Vegan Bac’n Bap, a breakfast sandwich with vegan bacon, served on a soft white bun and with it optionally Heinz Ketchup or HP Brown Sauce (both vegan).
Competing coffee giant Starbucks is also keeping pace in the UK. The chain removed dairy products from the base of their famous Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) in Europe in 2018 so that customers can order the drink vegan. Since that innovation, Starbucks has also added a variety of vegan options – including a selection of sandwiches, some of which are made with Beyond Meat. Last fall, Starbucks UK added vegan whipped cream and launched a fall-inspired vegan pumpkin spice biscuit as the icing on the cake.
The base of Starbucks’ PSL in the US still contains dairy products and the popular fall drink cannot be ordered vegan.
Vegan products from Flora
In 2019, Flora’s product portfolio became entirely plant-based. However, last October the brand reformulated its previously vegan Flora Buttery with milk-based buttermilk, citing that consumers are “missing the familiar taste of buttermilk in Flora Buttery” and “unwilling to join the plant-based journey”. The move sparked a petition to keep Flora Buttery vegan.
In the States, Upfield not only owns Violife, but also the parent company of Country Crock, a classic margarine company that recently got into vegan butter. In 2019, the brand launched its Plant Butter line to provide a direct alternative to animal butter. The brand’s vegan butter is available in both cup and stick formats, made with almond oil, olive oil or avocado oil. Upfield also owns Flora Plant Butter in the US and that product and its other holdings will continue to be vegan.
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