January 02, 2020
Greggs has launched a vegan steak bake and while many people are absolutely delighted, others are particularly disappointed with the name. Their argument? It’s not meat so can you really call it a ‘steak’ bake?!
Greggs Vegan Steak Bake Sparks Beef Over Meaty Name
The launch, which marks the start of Veganuary, follows in the footsteps of the bakery chain’s incredibly successful vegan sausage roll, which had a surge in sales thanks to publicity of the product last January, fuelled by a certain TV presenter’s outrage about it.
Customers were first able to buy the bake on the evening of 1 January 2020 – and people gathered in their droves to queue outside selected stores to get their hands – and tastebuds – on the product, which stars Quorn (a meat substitute), diced onions and gravy, wrapped in puff pastry. Related... We Got Meat Eaters To Try A Vegan Bacon Roll – Here's What They Thought Am I in the queue for the Greggs X Vegan Steak Bake launch in the freezing cold at 10PM?Of course I am pic.twitter.com/KaZk2Pi2hs— katie (@festivebake_) January 1, 2020The following day, as vegan bakes were flying off shelves, there was a pattern of outrage over the name. “It’s a vegetarian / vegan bake. Sell it as it is,” one wrote on Twitter.
Another posted: “Why isn’t it called a vegetable bake?” It's not made with steak, so why call it a Steak bake?It's soy or similar and no ingredients needs to be dairy or animal based. With a flavour and look true vegans wouldn't recognise anyway.🙄 It's a VEGETARIAN/ VEGAN BAKE. Sell it as it IS ffs!— ⚘Sophie Patricia Davis (@sophie_p_davis) January 2, 2020They need to find a name for it. It’s not steak 🥩🙄— David Adeola (@DavidAdeola) January 2, 2020The misappropriation of 'steak' should be the first thing tackled, and why is necessary to refer to it as 'vegan'.Call it a 'quorn bake' or whatever synthetic rubbish it is filled with.— Plain Speaking (@PlainSpeakingUK) January 2, 2020So, can companies actually get away with calling vegetarian or vegan products meaty names? In 2018, France prohibited products made from non-animal ingredients to be given such names, but the same hasn’t happened in the UK. 
In July 2019, The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee found no evidence that terms like these are misleading for consumers. The Committee was responding to an EU proposal to ban names like ‘burger’, ‘sausage’ and ‘steak’ when naming vegan and vegetarian food products. Instead, it was suggested they should be called “vegetarian discs” or, ahem, “veggie tubes”.
At the time, The Vegan Society suggested the change would cause “confusion and time wasting”. The Committee agreed, saying such a move would reduce consumer clarity, be a barrier to growth for this sector of the food industry, and make it more challenging for people to reduce the amount of meat in their diet “at a time when government should be seeking to encourage the opposite”.
Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, wrote in a letter: “Vegetarian sausages and burgers have been on the UK and European market for many years now and where they are clearly and honestly labelled, as the large majority are, consumers are not at all misled.”
He did add, however, that vegetarian foods should not be marketed in a way that suggests a nutritional equivalence with meat products where this does not exist.
The Committee said legislative action by the EU is “unnecessary” and “would undermine EU policy objectives on climate change, the environment and public health”. It’s unclear what happens next, especially in the context of Brexit, but in the meantime, it seems the UK’s vegan steak bakes are safe.My favourite thing about Greggs vegan launch day is all the meat eaters having a temper tantrum and crying “BUT WHYS IT CALLED A STEAK BAKEEEEE” over and over despite the fact they’ve been told and it also doesn’t affect their life in the slightest. #greggspic.twitter.com/pWm6ImFFCQ— Chelsea Crystina Clark (@chelscrystina) January 2, 2020Related... Here's A Nutritionist's Take On Greggs' New 'Diet Doughnuts' The 10 Best Vegan Cookbooks To Spice Up Your Plant-Based Diet Trying Veganuary? These 5 Simple Vegan Recipes Use Just 5 Ingredients Each Coffee Shops Shouldn't Be Charging More For Milk Alternatives, Say Campaigners 6 Vegan Food Swaps To See You Through Veganuary Plant-Based Diet Could Negatively Impact Your Brain Health, Study Reveals
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