Veganuary across our business

How we’re supporting veganuary around our business

Winterbotham Darby heart

We are passionate about food.  At our heart are people who spend a lot of time  talking about what they are cooking and eating.  As we continue to develop and grow our plant-based category, it should come as no surprise that we have more and more staff who are turning to a plant-based diet.  This Veganuary we catch up with a few colleagues who have taken up the challenge to eat plant-based for 31 days to see how they are getting on , to share any tips and also show is what they are cooking.

Matt: understanding our categories

A massive foodie and our Head of Inspiration and Development, he took up the challenge, alongside his family this January.  Matt says, All round I think its a positive experience and an essential one if you are developing products for vegans and flexitarians.  Just from a health perspective its good and there is a growing understanding that eating more plants is important for gut health. The challenge to continually come up with new recipes is also good for me, just like everyone else I struggle to bothered to cook sometimes and Veganuary is a massive inspiration boast, which we all need at times.”

Asked for some kitchen inspiration, Mob Kitchen are his favourites this year – with recipes which are quick, easy and pack a punch flavour wise which is essential. They taste amazing but just happen to be vegan.

See below for some of Matt’s vegan creations on Instagram 

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A post shared by Matt McAuliffe (@matty_mc___)


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A post shared by Matt McAuliffe (@matty_mc___)


Nutty Pithivier

Monika: using an app to make the switch easier

Monika was another colleague wanted to try Vegan eating for the month. She prefers to cook from scratch, rather than depend on ready-meals.

Monika has really been enjoying the challenge and says, of continuing after the month is up, ” I believe it’s ok to have an animal based product from time to time, as long as it is locally and sustainably sourced from a supplier respecting high welfare standards. I like my morning coffee with a dash of organic milk and I prefer honey to sugar, but I will continue my flexitarian lifestyle.”

So her top tip is that she uses the Waitrose & Partners Food App for recipe inspiration. She says “You can search ‘vegan’ and save your favourites in customised folders.  What I like about this app is you can create a shopping list, so cooking vegan is just as simple as cooking any other meal.”

One of her favourites on the app is the Nutty pithivier with watercress and pistachio pesto.  She says, “this recipe has a lot of ingredients and it is quite complex, but it was very tasty and filling at the same time. Plus it includes all the macronutrients and good balance of essential micronutrients.

Ellen: plant-based = more energy

Ellen decided to take part in Veganuary for the challenge. She’s a product developer for our plant-based category so she felt it was important for her to understand the challenges of a plant-based diet.

She says, “It’s highlighted the sheer amount of day-to-day store cupboard ingredients and products that contain some form of dairy or meat. I also decided to take part in Veganuary to see if it would have any affect on the way I feel. You hear about people moving to a plant-based diets and the positive effects it has of various aspects of their lives so I was interested to see how it would affect me. I have certainly got tonnes more energy especially in the evening since being plant-based and feel much more motivated to carry out daily exercise.”

That’s definitely a glowing endorsement from a lifestyle perspective but what about her recipe inspiration?


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      A post shared by Domestic Gothess (@domestic_gothess)

      Izzy: cooking with someone else makes it easier

      Izzy and her sister Laura are based in the office at one of of manufacturing sites. They’ve taken on the challenge together, partly for the health but also environmental benefits.

      They’re both really enjoying it and Izzy says, “It helps that we live together and can make tea together but also motivate each other. We also usually make soup with our soup maker at this time of year anyway so that has coincided well for lunches.”

      They’ve shared some of the dishes they’ve created and also a few products they’ve found useful.

      Izzy's veganuary tips

    Finally, Ellen leaves us with some Veganuary tips to help make switching to a vegan diet easier:

      • Plan & be organised. I find if you plan your weekly meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner it is much easier to stick and enjoy your vegan lifestyle. It takes more time thinking about recipe ideas and therefore if you plan in advance you can just crack on when it comes to meal times.
      • Don’t just reply on alternatives – Since I have been taking part in Veganuary I haven’t eaten many meat alternatives. This isn’t necessarily out of choice, but I am finding it a great way explore vegetables & pulses etc in new ways and formats.
      • Spice things up – there’s a pre conception that plant-based foods can lack in flavour. Don’t be afraid to really add lots of spices, herbs etc to jazz things up. Even using drizzle & dressings can really help to add another dimension to the meal.
      • Try different things & don’t just stick to the recipe – I really struggle following recipes to a tee and I enjoy making it up as I go along. Having said that there are some great base recipes to use which are easy to adapt and shape into something you know are going to love and enjoy.

January 18, 2021

5 minute read

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If you're in this weekend (and let's face it - most of us are) then why take a foodie trip with @marksandspencer's Italian night family dine in. Call us biased but we love the 'Nduja Meatballs with Pappardelle which is a dish in the deal. *whispers* It might be something to do with the fact that the 'nduja is one of our favourite products. And that we supply it through our foodservice team. But, despite our bias it really is a star in our range of Italian continental products and that's what we're about - delivering fresh and flavourful products. ...

🏆 Congrats to @smithfoto59 🏆 - winner of our Food For Sale category at last night's @foodphotoaward with his image Street Vendor. 📸 A gorgeous picture with beautiful tones. We can't but marvel at the ingenuity of the woman's stall made out of a pram - perfect for mobile sales.
We love this category as it's so close to our hearts (being in the business of selling food ourselves) and echoes our passion for delivering happiness through food.
To see all of the finalist images across the awards click the link in our bio ☝️

Delighted, once again to be part of the @foodphotoaward and to sponsor the Food For Sale category. Good luck to all the shortlisted photographers and filmmakers. We'll be watching with our fingers crossed for you all later

It’s finally here!
Join us this evening 20:00BST on @youtube to celebrate the @foodphotoaward Awards hosted by @fred_sirieix
Reposted from @foodphotoaward

We've been friends with Spanish continental meats since 1992 when we first introduced them to the UK market. They've gone from strength to strength becoming a firm favourite with many shoppers. Today it's a brunch of dreams featuring Spanish chistorra, tomatoes, cubed potatoes and eggs. One pan, MAXIMUM flavour and minimal washing up. What's your brunch favourite? ...

#Fact - in one single day this week, we produced a record-breaking 213,000 pots of olives and antipasti. So it's official, the British consumer loves olives! Are you a lover or a hater? ...

We're big fans of the med diet and the tomato is so integral to that. So today we're closing our eyes, opening a pot of @foodsunearthed slow roasted tomatoes and savouring the memories of being somewhere warm and sunny. Extremely versatile, they can be enjoyed straight out of the pot, or are great as an ingredient - just like in these cous-cous and roasted tomato stuffed peppers. How do you prefer to eat yours? ...

📣 If you're vegan, a flexitarian or just like tasty food - then this is one for you. New ready-to-eat @squeakybeanveg Chargrilled🔥 Cajun Mini Fillets. No messing around. The taste and texture are a game changer. Well done to the plant-based team for creating something magical - now available in 200 @asda stores ...

Happy day of chocolate 🍫 . Celebrate with pimped up pancakes plus a drizzle of chocolate sauce and fruit. Oh and to top it off we added cream. But this isn't just any old pancake stack - it's a VEGAN stack (check out our very own @squeakybeanveg) as it's all plant-based on here. Enjoy your day and tell us what you're eating? ...

With a long weekend ahead of us, we can take it easy right? More time for lazy mornings which means a nice brunch. We've made ours with smoked brunswick ham, but you could add prosciutto, parma or speck for a touch of decandce. Add tea, coffee or juice and RELAX 🍳 ☕ ...

🐟 If you love fish then this is one for you - pan fried cod with roasted vegetables, rosemary roasted potatoes and sliced chorizo. Chorizo is one of our most popular continental meat products. Many years on after we first launched it to the UK retail market consumers love it just as much as they always have done. What's your favourite way to eat chorizo? happy Friday 🐟 ...

📣 The long awaited shortlist for the @foodphotoaward is now live!! 📷 This year has seen a bumper crop of gorgeously creative entries. We're delighted to see what's in our 'Food For Sale' category. So grab a drink, click above and scroll through to see what gorgeous images have been shortlisted. Is one of yours on there - let us know? Click the link in our bio to go straight to our 'Food for Sale' category ⬆️ ...

We understand consumers and we know that on shelf appeal and pack stand-out is so important. After research and trial, our @foodsunearthed brand have re-designed their packs using stronger, eye catching use of colour and a disruptive use of pattern (we love that nod to the Med too). Look out for new olive packs in @waitrose and @ocadouk. What's your favourite? ...

It's might be #BritishPieWeek but we think it's perfectly acceptable to add a little continental twist. Our pancetta, either smoked or unsmoked, is great to add to add flavour. Just like in this chicken & mushroom pie. The ultimate in comfort, made with authentic ingredients. We deliver happiness through food. What's your favourite pie? ...

Today is National Pig Day. Our welfare journey began in 2000 & since then we've been improving the welfare of pigs by working with @CIWF

We're committed to the following: + considerably more space for each pig + larger breeding facilities for each sow + free farrowing and +no pigs subjected to tail docking or teeth clipping.

These commitments have led to us, along with some of closest farming partners, to win awards and achieve what was considered 'impossible' in Europe. We thank them all for their dedication and pledge to continue the work with them.

What does the future of sustainable pig farming look like? Why not join our webinar on Fri 26th March (09.45 - 12.00 GMT) and find out. We’ll set the scene on the future for food, sustainability and livestock, share some case studies, but also talk about how we can validate the data. Plus we’ll run a panel discussion to wrap things up. 🐷 🐖

The line-up includes speakers from Food Ethics Council, University of Leeds and Authenticate, as well as a panel discussion hosted by CIEL Livestock. Click the link in our bio to register. ⬆️

We've done it! We've won 'Plant Based Manufacturing Company of the Year' at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards. Great recognition for a mammoth project. We spotted a gap in the plant-based market for ready-to-eat chicken style pieces so created a unique product (@squeakybeanveg) with great taste and texture. We secured investment & fitted out a brand new 100% plant-based site to manufacture it - all in 13 months. So great to get recognition for that. Congratulations to the entire #team ...

Quick quiz..🤔 You knew this was a) plant-based and b) that you could get this kind of deliciousness in a box, delivered to your door, ready to cook? Right? If not then check out @hellofreshuk who now include @vivera_UK in their plant-based boxes. Big thumbs up to our #foodservice team who have been involved in the project too. ...

Food photographers, YOU could be in amongst this prestigious collection of previous @foodphotoaward winners. You've got just 3 days left to enter. The judges will be presented with a shortlist, then sift through the category entries to select the winning photo. Each category winner is then put forward to be in the running for Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year. It's a unique award which carries prestige. So don't delay. We're proud to sponsor the 'Food for Sale' category and can't wait to see the entries. ...

📣 Listen up people 📣 exciting announcement. This month on @squeakybeanveg, we've handed over the creative reins to 28 different vegan influencers/foodies who will be showing consumers how fun, tasty and easy it is to enjoy plant-based eating. Cue some drool-inducing images and fantastic gastronomic delights. ...