Promoting vegan options in Dubai’s dining scene, Upfield, the world’s largest plant-based consumer goods company, announced a collaboration with Movenpick Hotels & Resorts to create special recipes using its new 100 per cent plant-based brand Flora Plant. The new recipes – ‘Flora Plant Vegan Apple Tart’ and ‘Flora Plant Vegan Truffle Pasta’ – use the Flora Plant butter and cream and are available for diners at Movenpick Jumeirah Lakes Towers’ Urban Bar & Kitchen (UBK).
The partnership is Flora Plant’s first with a hospitality brand in the UAE and is part of a larger initiative by Upfield to support chefs meet the increasing demand for plant-based options. The company expects to launch more such collaborations with hospitality outlets over the year.
“In recent years, many chefs have seen diners looking for varied menu options at their restaurants, whether it is for health reasons such as lactose or gluten intolerance, or a preference to have a vegan or plant-based meal for ethical or environmental reasons. The challenge chefs face is finding suitable ingredients that tick all their diners’ requirements, deliver on taste and at the same time reduce complexities in their kitchens,” said Marwan Abidaoud, Upfield Mena’s head chef. “Using Flora Plant will make it easier for chefs to create a wider variety of plant-based dishes for their diners to enjoy, as these recipes we’ve created with Movenpick show."
When compared with dairy, Upfield says Flora Plant has 50 per cent lower impact on CO2 emissions, while it requires two thirds less land and half the water to produce. Both products are also packaged in 100 per cent FSC-certified parchment paper, which is plastic-free, making it a more environmentally responsible choice for consumers.
“As veganism or plant-based diet grows over the years, it is important to have a good variety of interesting options for guests. As chefs, we turn this challenge to explore our creativity to find ways and produce great results,” said chef Murugan Thirumalai, executive chef, Movenpick JLT Dubai. “Further, we all know the impact the food industry makes in terms of carbon footprint. As a company, Accor Group is committed to contribute to sustainability to help preserve the planet. We are aware that plant-based food consumes significantly less water and land compared to animal produce. Hence, increasing plant-based options in our menus not only allows us to keep up to date with the growing market demand but also gives us the opportunity to contribute to sustainability. As a Chef, I find that personally satisfying.”
Available in retail stores nationwide, Flora Plant is one of Upfield’s latest product innovations and the company says it is the only 100 per cent plant-based cream and butter without any allergens available in the UAE and across the Gulf. Flora Plant Butter and Flora Plant Cream are vegan, dairy free and gluten free with a rich and creamy taste. Made with plant-based oils with no artificial flavors or preservatives, they can also be used 1:1 in baking and cooking.
As part of its wider initiative to support the shift to plant-based diets in the UAE, Upfield will also be sponsoring the inaugural vegan category in this month’s Expo Culinaire, an annual competition which for the last 24 years has featured junior chefs worldwide.