Something wonderful is happening in Germany! More and more people make the decision to eat less meat and it seems like there is a big shift of consciousness happening in the country. You can find proof of this in many ways. Not only did a vegan cookbook top the charts of cookbooks for weeks, but a lot of big companies are adapting to this new change of lifestyle.
I mean, if a company like IKEA starts selling vegan meatballs and one of the biggest German sausage producer is starting to make vegetarian sausages (and even calling sausage “the cigarette of the future”), it must mean something big is happening. When companies like these change their concepts it means that vegetarian/vegan food is not just a “trend” (how many like to call it) and I can’t tell you how happy this makes me! Consuming less meat would mean less factory farming, less animal cruelty, less deforestation, healthier people and a healthier planet. You probably know the list! ;-)
Another company that is making a change in their concept is one of the biggest supermarket chains in Germany called EDEKA. They just introduced that they will be adding a vegetarian/vegan “meat” counter to their stores. Right now they are in a test phase with only a few stores displaying the so called “Vegithek”. One of them is close to where I live and of course I was curious to check it out.
When I went there I asked the lady at the counter how the costumers react to the Vegithek and she said that a lot of the costumers simply overlook the section and therefore it has not been getting the right attention yet. So I thought I’d write about the Vegithek on my blog, in case you haven’t heard about it and are interested in it. Things like these should definitely get more attention!
One reason that the Vegithek is easy to be overlooked is probably the fact that it is right in the middle of the real meat section. Since the mock-meat looks pretty much like real meat, it’s hard to tell what is what. Only a sticker on the glas window and a Vegithek poster indicate that you’d find meat substitutes here. I can see why EDEKA chose to do it that way (it’s the place to target meat consumers and makes it easier for them to try a meat-free option), but personally I think it would get even more attention if it was placed separately. Especially since a lot of people who are already vegetarian or vegan would never get the idea to approach a meat counter this closely. So if they didn’t hear about it, they wouldn’t even know it existed.
But let’s talk food!
(Sorry for the picture quality. With the artificial light in the store, the pictures got a bit discolored)
The Vegithek offers a lot of different choices and what you see on the picture is not even everything. At the moment they test different things on different days (judging by the different assortments I saw on different days). You can find a complete list of what is offered on this link. What’s great is that a lot of the things are even completely vegan. If you like tofu for example, then you’ll find a lot of nice variations here. This is what excited me most personally! But you’ll also find things like vegan meatballs, burger patties, schnitzel or cold cuts.
This is what my boyfriend and I tried so far:
- Tofu-sausage salad / “Bio Tofu-Wurstsalat”
- Crispy tofu
- Tofu schnitzel with poppy seeds / “Tofu Schnitzel mit Mohn”
- Tofu Balls with sunflower seeds / “Tofu Bällchen mit Sonnenblumenkernen”
- Tofu balls with sesame / “Tofu Bällchen mit Sesam”
- Vegan burger patty
- Vegan meatballs
- Tofu cold cut
Everything we tried was very tasty (the tofu-salad was a bit unspectacular though). The one that really stood out for us was the tofu with poppy seeds. It was surprisingly good and something completely new for me!
If you like meat-substitutes that taste like meat, I’m sure you’d like the vegan meatballs and burger patties. They were really good and even Fritzi was fooled into thinking it’s real meat ;-)
Also I really like the fact that people can buy these substitutes at a counter now, which means less plastic packaging. Next time I’ll actually try taking my tupperware!
Overall I think it’s awesome that EDEKA is the first supermarket to offer meat-substitudes at a counter and I hope that a lot of people will try it. My only criticism is the product placement. I think it would be a good idea to move the Vegithek away from the real meat counter. Other than that: thumbs up! This is the beginning of something great!