Recently launched vegan foie gras is selling out across Spain. The plant-based pate has exceeded the Spanish startup’s expectations as orders flood in.
Foie gras has, understandably, come under increasing scrutiny in recent times; accelerated by a gradual global movement to get us all thinking about switching to more of a plant-based diet. King Charles reportedly told animal rights campaigners in November that foie gras would not be served in royal residences, while the US state of California as well as New York City have both sought to ban the product.
So, a company in Spain has been labouring over it's 'faux gras' recipe for more than a year, tweaking it 800 times. They call it Fuah!. After being taste-tested by more than 150 people, the plant-based take on foie gras was deemed ready for market, setting in motion a modest plan to deliver 5,000 units to supermarkets and speciality stores before the holiday season.
Within 12 hours of its launch in mid-December, the units had sold out across Spain. The company scrambled to restock - and watched in awe as another 30,000 units flew off shelves.
“We’re absolutely gobsmacked,” said Javier Fernández, the founder of Madrid-based startup Hello Plant Foods. “Our plan was to start slowly … but we’ve just increased our production sevenfold. It’s crazy.”
Fernández and his team fashioned their take on foie out of cashews, coconut oil and beetroot extract. The aim was to produce a hyper-realistic plant-based version, said Fernández, one aimed at vegans and vegetarians but also meat-eaters. Judging by sales, it seems they have successfully achieved that.
“There’s a hidden consumer that loves foie. But what happens is that a photo of the ducks with the tubes sticking out of them flashes before them and they don’t want it,” he said. “When they try Fuah! their eyebrows shoot up and they go: ‘Madre Mia.’”
Since Fuah! hit the shelves, inquiries have poured in from across Europe and the US, catching the company off guard. “We weren’t expecting any of this. We hadn’t really done any advertising,” he said.
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