A vegan version of the popular candy canes is popping up across the country.
It’s a good thing too because some of these candies aren’t as vegan as you’d expect.
“There’s a whole bunch of different flavours and you can go to the store and you’ll find a can of the most popular variety,” says David, who also runs his own online candy store.
“You can’t find that stuff in a supermarket anymore.
You’ve got to get it online.”
It’s the same with the world famous caramel apples, which are usually made with a special caramel extract, and are also sold as vegan versions of the same.
They’re also vegan, but only on the internet.
But not everyone is keen on getting a little too adventurous.
“It’s not that there are any rules about where you can buy it,” says Mr T, the co-owner of The Candy Company.
“I mean, you can’t go into any grocery store, or anywhere in the world, and you could go to a shop and you’d find it in a box, and it’s definitely not vegan.”
David says that when he first got into selling his own candy, he was disappointed that most of the items he could find were vegan, and he’d even bought vegan products from a few suppliers.
“Then when I started selling it online, I was just blown away by how much it was selling for,” he says.
“Every day I’d get more and more customers asking me if I had a vegan version, so I thought why not just do it for the sake of the business?”
But the trend of veganising products has only just begun.
In 2017, it was reported that two chocolate bars sold in the US were also vegan.
And even though some products are sold as part of a vegan diet, David says there’s still a big gap between the amount of vegan products on the market and the amount people actually want to eat.
“Some of these items are very easy to make vegan, such as caramel apples,” he said.
“But the ones that are really difficult are the caramel ones, because the flavour is so similar to regular caramel that it’s difficult to find.”
Veganising food has become trendy in recent years, as it allows for easier access to healthy, ethical ingredients, as well as more people to choose from.
And while there’s a lot of interest in veganising food, there’s also a huge amount of scepticism and fear surrounding the process.
“We’ve all heard of the health concerns and the risks of using ingredients that are not always healthy,” says Wendy, the owner of Vegan Cakes, which sells vegan chocolate, cookies and other desserts.
“What we don’t understand is that we can use ingredients like these for things like vegan chocolate and vegan ice cream and vegan milkshakes, but there are very few people in the vegan community who actually have any experience of doing it.”
So, are you vegan?
Are you vegan because you want to feel good about your food, or because it makes you feel good?
Are your choices to be made with vegan ingredients or not?
Are the choices that are made in a vegan way healthy or not, and is it worth the effort?
Listen to the full episode of ABC Food for thought on veganisation.
It can be challenging to keep your options open when it comes to food, but with more and different options, it’s really important to make your choices in a healthy way.
Listen to ABC Food’s Vegonomics podcast for more information on the topic of veganisation, and follow @ABCFood for all the latest vegan news.