Dr. Oetker Stories

“Protecting the climate with everyday steps”

People who follow a vegan diet are doing something for the climate, do not harm animal welfare and are eating consciously. But do consumers of convenience products also eat vegan?

“Protecting the climate with everyday steps”

2.8.2022 Sustainability

Marina Landgraf, Masterbrand Manager at Dr. Oetker, explains why Dr. Oetker offers vegan products, where the vegan journey is still headed and why we still have salami pizza in our range and that will not change.

Why does Dr. Oetker offer vegan products?

Marina Landgraf: The question is rather: How could we not offer vegan products? Consumers are increasingly asking us about plant-based alternatives for their favorite products, about options for vegan preparation, about appropriate recipes. Vegan products are a more climate-friendly option compared to meat- or dairy-based foods, and they improve animal welfare overall. Many people additionally have health aspects in mind. We want to offer them the chance to protect the climate with small, everyday steps and to make a choice for animal welfare. And we hope that this choice for the plant-based alternative will eventually become a natural decision.

If climate protection is so important and vegan alternatives so diverse - why does Dr. Oetker still offer products containing meat?

Marina Landgraf: We don't make decisions for our consumers - we make them an offer: The opportunity to make a small contribution without giving up delicious indulgent products such as cakes, desserts and pizza. Everyone decides for themselves what they want to contribute. Riding a bike, buying second-hand clothes, eating something deliciously vegan... There are now so many great ways to choose climate and animal welfare.

Wouldn't Dr. Oetker then also have to transparently communicate the impact of its products on the climate - keyword: Product Carbon Footprint?

Marina Landgraf: We think we have to! An international project team is working on defining a method for us based on internationally recognized standards and then being able to calculate the product carbon footprint for all products. We expect this to happen in 2023. I am very much looking forward to having this information available and thus being able to offer people more transparency about our products.

If plant-based preparations are so central to Dr. Oetker - why isn't every product provided with instructions on how to prepare it vegan?

Marina Landgraf: Our consumers have a wide variety of interests: some eat a gluten-free diet, have allergies, or pay attention to vegan food preparation. We cannot do justice to all these interests on the packaging. However, continuous labeling with the common vegan labels is being implemented for many vegan Dr. Oetker products and is being made transparent and easy to understand for everyone, at least on the website. In many countries, the consumer service also provides extensive information. And: We are currently enjoying the great experience that users themselves know best how they prefer to replace dairy products and eggs with plant-based alternatives.

Are there limits to product development?

Marina Landgraf: We are flexible - for us, the focus is always on taste - and what tastes good is decided by the people who eat our products. If we can offer a perfect salami pizza with a meat alternative - wonderful! If the solution is to completely redesign products, also good. If you just take pizza for example, there are so many possibilities for delicious vegan variants: With a cheese substitute, designed without cheese on a tomato basis, with a lot of and perhaps unusual vegetable toppings, with meat substitutes based on pea protein, for example, or with jackfruit. The same goes for cakes and desserts.

What is your favorite vegan product from Dr. Oetker? And which classic do you prefer to eat as always?

Marina Landgraf: Since 2021 I am only eating plant-based and I can highly recommend our vegan La Mia Pinsa Spinach. I would appreciate if our Vitalis mueslis and High Protein desserts would also be available in a vegan variety in future.