* World’s largest plant-based food company to unveil campaign at next week’s Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2022 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

* Chefs from around the world urged to ‘be at the forefront of change’ and include more plant-based options on their menus

Dubai: Upfield, the world’s largest plant-based food company, will announce the launch of its #makeitplant campaign, at this year’s Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2022 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from May 30 to June 2. With the support of Violife, Upfield’s award-winning alternative to dairy cheese, the company aims to encourage and support the hospitality industry with the increasing demand for plant-based food. 

A rise in flexitarians has seen people globally looking for more plant-based options, to not only reduce their climate impact, but also suit their dietary and allergy needs – be it dairy, gluten, lactose amongst many. Plant-based ingredients and meals are now readily available in supermarkets, but the restaurant industry is lagging, with limited menu options. The #makeitplant campaign aims to ensure consumers have tasty and nutritious food options inside and outside the home – without the need to compromise taste or performance. 

The #makeitplant campaign aims to support and encourage chefs across the globe to focus on sustainable and dairy free alternatives by providing them with an expansive range of plant-based options for their menus. Junior and aspiring head chefs will also be educated about the importance of using plant-based ingredients in the kitchen to promote eco-conscious dining.

“We are at a pivotal moment, whereby people around the world need and want to change the way they eat,” said Reinier Weerman, General Manager –Middle East & North Africa, Upfield. “Chefs can be at the forefront of this change by guiding their customers towards more plant-based food and showing just because something is not dairy does not mean it cannot be delicious. Through the introduction of this campaign, we hope to help chefs expand their menus with plant-based, planet-friendly options.”

A 2021 report from the United Nations found that the food we eat is estimated to account for 34 per cent1 of all greenhouse gases globally. Grains, fruit, and vegetables have the lowest climate footprint per serving, so by eating more of these and fewer animal-based foods, including dairy, we can contribute to a healthier, more environmentally sustainable world.2

According to Weerman, Upfield’s team of professionals will lead restaurants and chefs in the right direction to modify their menus and cater to all types of diners.

“We have noted a sharp increase in consumers switching to plant-based meals in recent months,” said Weerman. “Covid-19 made us all re-evaluate our habits, and growing concerns about the environment and animal welfare continue to drive this shift toward plant-based, health-conscious diets. We believe everyone can make a difference and the #makeitplant campaign hopes to ensure chefs provide more options and consumers soon have more options when they dine out. Ultimately, it challenges the food industry to do more for the planet.” 

The #makeitplant campaign will be unveiled during the Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2022, a biennial event hosted by the world association of chefs’ societies and representing 10 million culinary artists worldwide. Expected to attract up to 2,000 chefs from more than 105 countries, the four-day event will feature masterclasses, panel discussions, competitions, and expert-hosted seminars, while the UAE’s annual Expo Culinaire and its signature Salon Culinaire will also run in tandem. 

About Upfield

At Upfield, we make people healthier and happier with great tasting, plant-based nutrition products that are better for the planet. As a global plant-based company, Upfield is the #1 producer of plant-based spreads and cheeses, with more than 100 brands, including Violife®, Flora™, Rama, Blue Band, ProActiv, Becel, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, and Country Crock. With headquarters in Amsterdam, we sell our products in more than 95 countries and have 15 manufacturing sites throughout the world. The company employs more than 4,200 associates. Since 1871, we have been the authority in the spreads category, which gives us unmatched experience, know-how, and inspiration. We are focused on leading in this new era focused on delivering healthier products that are great tasting, have superior quality, and help us deliver on our mission to create a “Better Plant-based Future.