Vegan sausages sizzling at annual awards

Not only are more and more New Zealanders eating plant-based meals, but the variety of locally produced food available is also increasing, as shown in Friday's annual Vegan Sausage Awards.

More than 40 different meatless bangers competed for the coveted award of supreme vegan sausage, with the eventual winner also known as an industry leader in sustainability.

The fourth annual Vegan Sausage Awards were held and the high standard and number of entries is testimony to the increasing demand for plant-based products. 

The humble banger, like burger patties, is a gateway product for those wanting a meat-free alternative. 

And at the Butcher's Son, where they serve only plant-based meals, locals can't get enough.

"I think the quality of products is getting better and better, and there’s more variety and more range, so as the suppliers continue to innovate in that space and bring our more compelling products it just becomes easier and easier," said Chris Kinnel of the Butcher's Son.

Next month My Food Bag is launching a new Plant Power Box: last year they sold 2.8 million plant-based and vegetarian meals, an almost doubling in demand over three years.

And vegan sausages have been a hot item at our supermarkets, with Countdown saying they've seen a 20 percent increase in the past year.

New World also says their plant-based food category is growing at 11 percent more than their total grocery market.

There were a range of varieties on offer at the Awards - garlic and chili, curry spice, poppa’s pepperoni and spicy chorizo.  

This year's standout vegan sausage was a sage and onion banger from Plan*t, a Kiwi food company that last month won a $1.25 million Government loan for its efforts in sustainability, converting an old cheese factory into their new plant-based premises.

Saving the planet and a few hunger pains - one sausage at a time.