The British and ‘New Food’
Us Brits are a funny old bunch.
Over the last few months, I’ve seen first-hand how we react to new types of food.
I’ve laughed and nearly cried on many occasions.
Let me explain.
I’m a vegan and am in the process of launching a new brand of meat free, protein-based, handmade, foods in the UK. We’re called More Than Meat.
As such, I spend a great deal of time speaking to Brits about the benefits of switching to meat free, protein-based foods.
The way people have reacted has been fascinating and often quite amusing, and I wanted to share a couple of the more interesting conversations and anecdotes.
One afternoon, we were busy selling on our stall, when we were approached by some delightful looking vegetarians.
“We’d love to try your products, they look delicious!”
“Sure” we said, “try a sample”.
“Oh no”, they continued, “we can’t”.
“But why?” we asked.
“They probably taste far too much like real meat”, was the answer
We were puzzled.
Was that a compliment?
We hoped so.
Either way, we had to give them ten out of ten for their abstinence (and their slightly confused logic).
Another time, we encountered the most enthusiastic customers we’ve ever had.
A young, vegan family. Mum, Dad and two kids. They were desperate for some food.
The dad marched over and thrust a handful of money in my general direction.
I was somewhat taken aback.
“Just take the money and give us some of those burgers”, he demanded; “they look delicious!”
Forthright, you might say. (He nearly ripped my hands off).
There was another occasion that really proved that it’s not just vegans and vegetarians who are looking for meat free products.
One day, the assistant from a nearby butchers, strolled over and asked if he could borrow our ketchup.
Of course we obliged, and after thanking us he explained that people would often come into his shop asking for vegetarian sausages.
It made me think: Why on earth didn’t he have vegetarian sausages to sell? Surely, missing a trick.
Then there was the day that I truly felt proud of what we are doing with More Than Meat.
A young, wealthy looking couple, she a vet, he a good looking country gent came over and quietly, but proudly, explained that they were vegan and “couldn’t wait to try our food”.
This was in the very early days and that kind of encouragement not only touched my heart, it reassured me that there was a clear audience for my food. It was priceless.
Another touching moment was when a family came to my stall and explained that the Dad had recently had a heart attack and now ate a no-added fat, wholefood, plant-based diet.
He was delighted to find that not only could he eat my food, but so could all of his family.
What really touched me though, was that the rest of the family, who were omnivores, wanted to eat my meat-free food too.
Because they wanted to show support for their Dad. Marvellous.
This is my favourite.
A woman accompanied by her two dogs, wanders over to our stall, intrigued by the sights and smells.
“I’d love to try one of your sausage rolls”. “Oh, please do”. I replied
So far, so good.
But then I explain that they’re meat free.
“What!”, she yells.
“I will never be a vegetarian” and off she strode in a huff.
Oh well, you can’t win them all.
For more information on More Than Meat, visit www.morethanmeat.co.uk