I’m not ashamed to say it: I am a 6ft 2″, 20stone (plus), flexitarian!
Now, clearly I like my meat, you only have to see me to know that, but I’m not wed to it. I’m also very aware that the term ‘flexitarian’ feels very faddy but, just in case you’re not au fait with it, let me assure you the concept is quite simple: I just don’t eat meat all the time.
I have joined the thousands of others in the UK that aren’t necessarily card carrying vegetarians but occasionally partake in things like #meatfreemonday. So what’s driving this growth amongst the meat-loving populous?
Well it’s quite simple really: health and a huge improvement in the availability of convenient, good quality meat free food; in that order. It is now understood that eating a lot of meat, especially red meat, isn’t necessarily a route to a healthy lifestyle. This new demand has presented an opportunity for a number of companies to flourish and produce fantastic fresh and frozen vegetarian foods.
OK, that’s all well and good but you should know by now that I like to add a commercial ‘so what’ into the mix…
Well, The Independent called out flexitarianism as a key food trend for 2017 in an article published at the end of last year meaning retailers that ignore the needs of its shopper base will come unstuck. The marketplace has really heated up with foodies flourishing in lots of different categories. COOK has managed to redefine what is meant by frozen food and our freezers are now filling up with a cornucopia of fantastic free-from frozen goodies.
So when my friends over at Goodlife asked if I wanted to try out some of their products I jumped at the chance; and here’s what I thought…
Appeals to: vegitarians, flexitarians, free-from followers, food lovers and just about any body
The charm of this brand really shines through from the packaging. It’s simple but certainly stands out against the wallpaper that adorns most freezers. The branding and packaging conjures up imagery of the self-sufficient good old days when everyone tended to an allotment and shared out this year’s bumper crop of runner beans. The food descriptions on pack are also very powerful in terms of setting expectations about the goodness inside; you’re really not expecting a free-from taste experience.
£1.89 – £2.49 (based on Ocado’s pricing) – I was actually pleasantly surprised when I checked Ocado’s pricing. You could be forgiven for thinking that they would be more in line with COOK’s prices, which are significantly steeper. The freezer is a very value driven area of the store so price is a key driver of purchase, however these products are targeted at a discerning consumer so Goodlife have to find the delicate balance between value for money and a great tasting product.
Green Bean, Spinach and Wensleydale Sausages
Now we’re all adventurous foodies here, right? So please don’t allow appearance to cloud your judgement with these beauties. They may not look much but they taste phenomenal and certainly deliver against the description. These sausages are bright, fresh and flavoursome and the sausage skin provides a snap as you break through it. The creamy cheese and onion notes linger on the palate long after the swallow. These are brilliant!
Tomato and Olive Grill
Goodlife’s grills give a very different eating experience to the light sausages with a rich intense flavour buffeted by a wholesome tomato base with a delicate, dancing olive across the top notes.
Mushroom and Spinach Kiev
Finally, the kiev. Now this is special. The light, herby crumb offers a fantastic juxtaposition to the creamy, delicate interior. The cheese sauce runs throughout the eat and far exceeds the point of swallow.
Verdict – in a word, flexy! As I said at the top of this post I am a flexitarian and I fully see the value in meat free days from a health perspective. However, this choice has only been made possible by fantastic tasting meat free options. I’m a food lover so taste is always king but thanks to people like Goodlife I don’t have to compromise just because I want to go meat free. Why not join me next #meatfreemonday?
Any comments, thoughts or questions? Or are you a meat free warrior yourself and you want to offer me some tips? Leave a little comment below because sharing is caring!