Veganz, the German market leader in vegan groceries, is setting a new industry standard for sustainability and transparency. Together with the Swiss organization Eaternity, Veganz is introducing a label for its own products that shows the impact on carbon footprint, water use, rainforest destruction, and animal welfare.
“Finally, our customers can learn about the real resource consumption of our products,” said Veganz founder and CEO Jan Bredack. “We’re openly and critically addressing our own weak points. Right on our new product packaging, with no diversions. For me, this is a huge step forward within our industry, which badly needs transparency and more sustainability.”
A team of scientific experts uses the most modern methods and detailed data on raw materials, distributors, and producers of Veganz products, to show how they compare to 100,000 other supermarket products. In the future, the new sustainability label will be included on the brand’s product packaging, redesigned by Studio Oeding.
The first items to undergo this process will be in stores next month. They will include a creamy, flavorful cheese alternative made from cashews and fermented with vegan lactic acid cultures. This high-quality, unprocessed plant-based product is available in three flavors. Veganz has also submitted its popular organic Coconut, Crisp, and Hazelnut Choc Bars to Eaternity.
With the Codecheck app, consumers can scan the barcodes of Veganz products and view detailed information on our plant-based grocery products.
A vegan lifestyle can go a long way toward a sustainable lifestyle, and this is “good for you, better for everyone.” Founded in 2011 as Europe’s first vegan supermarket chain, it has taken a lead role since 2015 by developing its own products. Veganz brings a resource-friendly way of life to all German consumers, online, in conventional supermarkets, and in pharmacies. With more than 160 products – all completely plant-based and organic – Veganz is making it easy for customers to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
All the facts on the table: The story of an innovative label
As the quiet revolution of plant-based nutrition proceeded, Veganz founder Jan Bredack wrestled with the persistent feeling that it wasn’t enough to simply offer sustainable groceries. The effects of a plant-based diet on our planet were not sufficiently well-known. But was it worth the effort to calculate how little CO2 a vegan cheese alternative generated? Wasn’t it much more important to expand access to the company’s products, and to give customers a straightforward introduction to plant-based eating, than to try and solve this complex question?
More and more, Veganz heard its customers requesting the same thing: more transparency. So finally, Bredack started along the road to finding a solution. His search led him to Switzerland, to Manuel Klarmann, the founder of Eaternity. They shared the vision of transparent consumer information on food. On the basis of distributor and manufacturer data, they set out to calculate exactly how much water use and CO2 emissions each product caused, whether animals suffered and rainforests were destroyed. It looked like a simple idea, but it became a complex project. Klarmann, a mathematician, was concerned with the calculations. He and his wife, Judith, worked with current research results, concrete studies, and information on topics such as water use in cashew farming in southeast Asia. They had already successfully completed several projects for the restaurant industry, but the grocery sector was a new dimension. They fed everything into a database, brought 100,000 supermarket products together, and compared them to one another.
Jan Bredack volunteered to be the first test subject. For years, he had been working toward animal welfare and sustainability with his organic vegan products. His company, Veganz, offered a complete range of 160 products throughout Germany and in 12 other countries. So how did his products rate? He wanted to know! But he had to overcome resistance; talking with colleagues, producers, and distributors, most of what he heard was, “it’s too hard, it doesn’t work.” But he persevered. He launched market research on three label variations, and it turned out that for all of them, more than 80% of his customers found the label useful. He felt vindicated. He even had new packaging developed, because all 152 products were to receive the label in a prominent place within their layout.
Today, after more than a year and a half, the first products that actually display what resources were consumed in the making. A flavorful, creamy cheese alternative, with very few ingredients and matured with vegan lactic acid cultures, called: The Gourmet Classic. The product creates 565 grams of CO2, and it performs significantly better than most of the other 100,000 products in the supermarket. Animal welfare is guaranteed, and rainforest is protected. It’s a complete success. But it isn’t perfect: for water consumption, the product receives only one star, as 845 liters of water are used.
Bredack stands for transparency – even when the truth hurts. “That’s the only way we’ll improve,” he says. Customers are already enthusiastic, and Veganz’s largest partners can hardly wait for the new products to arrive. It’s getting loud in the foodindustry revolution: all the facts are on the table.
Our sustainable-food future is now!
Eaternity supports organizations worldwide in the calculation of the exact environmental footprint of their food. Their goal is to keep our food systems sustainable within the limits of the earth. Founders Judith Ellens and Manuel Klarmann founded Eaternity in 2008 at ETH Zurich out of the absolute necessity for solutions.
Eaternity welcomes all manufacturers to evaluate their food products. Being awarded the Eaternity Label brings real added value to supermarket shelves: a unique insight into sustainability. http://www.eaternity.org/label
Eaternity’s request: If we do not act now, climate change will cause more damage and forced migration than all the wars in human history combined. If we start today to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% in the next 12 years, we can prevent the worst ever man-made disaster. Worldwide, 1/3 of CO2 emissions are related to food. That’s a large enough proportion to have a huge contribution to sustainability goals.
CodeCheck AG (headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland) is the provider of the leading mobile shopping assistant for food and cosmetics in German-speaking countries. More than 1.6 million people use the online service (www.codecheck.info). The app has already been downloaded more than 4.5 million times.
CodeCheck combines information on their ingredients with the assessments of renowned experts from Greenpeace, BUND (Friends of the Earth), WWF, Verbraucherzentrale and Verbraucher Initiative e. V. in an extensive database with several million product entries and makes them available to consumers free of charge in apps and the web.
Using the CodeCheck app, users scan the barcode of a product directly, e.g., when shopping, and immediately receive an individual evaluation of the product together with an easy-to-understand evaluation circle that warns, for example, of sugar or microplastics.
Under the Oeeda brand (www.oeeda.com), CodeCheck is currently developing specialized market research services for companies that engage in an open dialogue with modern consumers – and want to adapt their products in line with sustainability.