Dunedin based business The Craft Meat Company has launched a new meat-free mince in an aim to target Kiwis that want to reduce their meat consumption or not eat meat at all. Owners Grant and Sherie Howie took over Fishers Meat, a 99-year old Dunedin meat business, and established the new premium brand ‘The Craft Meat Company’.

However, the company took an unexpected turn after the couple's daughter became vegan. They began noticing that their new company wasn’t providing for all the dietary needs at the Howie dinner table.

“My youngest daughter became a vegan two years ago, so when I bought the meat company she said, ‘why don’t you make something I can eat’, and I realised there was a growing trend for people to eat less meat or to eat no meat at all,” said Grant Howie.

Recent research shows more than 30 percent of Kiwis describe themselves as actively looking to reduce their animal protein consumption, typically having a ‘Meat Free Day’ at least once a week. “It’s this new Flexitarian consumer segment that we are primarily targeting, although, of course, Vegans and Vegetarians will also be key consumers.”

The new No Meat Mince is the first of the alternative meat range to be launched and closely resembles traditional mince. It is designed to be cooked into meals exactly as regular mince would. “In some instances, you can’t even tell whether it is meat or not.”

“We are seeing a significant rise in global demand for alternative proteins, and the New Zealand market is now experiencing a massive increase in vegan and flexitarian consumers.”