Once again New Zealand leads the way in plant-based innovations by being the only country to have Vegan Sausage Awards, which take place annually at the end of June. This year the Awards were hosted with vegan restaurant The Butcher's Son, judging the country's best and to celebrate our growing love of and preference for healthier plant-based foods. The stiff competition of some 30 entrants from around 20 different companies was judged by celebrity vegan comedian Tom Sainsbury and our stalwart, former Head Chef at Heritage Hotel Auckland, Gerrard O'Keefe, who was keen to define the best taste, consistency and appearance of the winners.
The Beyond Sausage has done it again, coming in as the Supreme Winner for the second year running. Hot on it's heels was our NZ Winner, Grater Goods with their Beet BBQ Banger. Logan McLean's Black Pudding was the winner in the breakfast sausage category and Ananda won the speciality category with its Bambino! Ananda won this category last year and have been in hot demand, entering the Foodstuffs “Food Starter” competition. Their prize for winning is help for increasing their sales from one small outlet to New World stores nationwide! From tiny cocktail sausages, giant chorizos are made!
Why do vegans want to eat burgers and sausages anyway? Celebrity judge vegan comedian Tom Sainsbury said in response, “Being a long time vegan, and long time sausage fan, I feel I am perfect to judge these (non) meaty tasty treats. I was so excited to be asked to judge a sausage competition! Have all my dreams come true?”
According to the 2019 Colmar Brunton poll, one third of New Zealanders are cutting down or cutting out meat from their diets and products like vegan sausages are jumping in to take their place. Last year's supreme winner, the Beyond Sausage, has gone from strength to strength on the retail market both here and overseas. Their fat and calorific contents are similar to that of a meat sausage but the difference is, there is no cholesterol, no nitrates and no known carcinogens. And with the knowledge that 31% of Kiwis eat sausages at least once a week, despite the WHO placing processed meats in the group 1 carcinogen category in 2015, it is clear that the popularity of vegan sausages is likely to continue to increase.