According to research on consumer trends by Nielsen, nine out of ten Colombians are willing to pay more for foods that have some nutritional benefit. According to a study on gastroenterology and hepatology, 80% of adults in Colombia experience malabsorption to lactose.  These two facts explain the growth in the country of plant-based alternatives to dairy. 

Violife, a popular melting-type vegan cheese company — part of Upfield — that is leading in the alternatives sector in many countries (such as the UK) has now been launched in Colombia too, and it expects to reach more than 100,000 consumers during the first year.

Paola Shue, Head of Corporate Affairs & Comms Latin America at Upfield, said to SEMANA: “We have seen that in the rest of the countries that it has been launched it has grown to double digits in a very short time. After the pandemic, consumers are seeing where the products they consume come from, and how they are made if they have preservatives. In Colombia, there is a genuine interest that is growing more and more. We believe that Colombians are prepared to receive all these types of products.”  Álvaro Mazo, the country lead of Upfield Colombia, says that it seeks to demolish the myths behind vegan food concerning taste, texture or performance.

According to a study by Acumen Research, the size of this market is estimated to exceed $24 trillion by 2026. A recent study states that these types of plant alternatives produce 77% fewer emissions than animal products. Sooner or later the best companies of alternatives to dairy and meat will reach out to each country in the world, as they are all leading towards an increasing market of people who care about their health and the environment. Unfortunately, the growth of those who also care about animals (including fellow humans), and therefore that subscribe to the philosophy of veganism, does not seem to be growing as fast. But health and the environment are gateways to veganism, so the more people who care about them, the more may end up adopting the philosophy at one point in their lives.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.