With more and more people interesting in trying plant-based food - be it for the odd Meatless Monday or as part of a bigger life change - it’s great to see Irish brands taking up the challenge.
Dubliner Aisling Cullen launched her Thanks Plants meatless meat products earlier this year and he brand has now gone into 30 stores across Dublin. A vegan herself, Aisling was frustrated by the ‘meaty’ vegan products on offer so decided to create her own. "I turned vegan a few years ago and was underwhelmed by the choice and quality of products available,” she explains. “I also found it hard to understand the list of ingredients on the packets." She started making meatless sausages at home, hitting on a recipe made from a simple mix of seitan flour (a vegan meat substitute made with wheat gluten) cannellini beans, vegetables and spices.
Aisling went on to apply for the SuperValu Food Academy and in May 2020 Thanks Plants went into selected Supervalu stores. The products are now also available in a range of specialist food stores around Dublin including Nolans of Clontarf, The Hopsack Rathmines and Lotts & Co. Dublin 4.
The range launched with three types of sausages – Apple & Sage, Sundried Tomato & Herb and The Frankfurter but Aisling has big plans for the brand. “I started with sausages as they are so versatile and are great for families who are trying to reduce their consumption of meat," she says, adding: "I will be launching a festive roast, which is my take on a stuffed turkey crown, in November and will add burgers and deli meats in 2021. My plan is to be the market leader in the seitan range in Europe one day.”
Thanks Plants sausages retail at RRP €3.99 and an online store will go live in November. For recipes and a list of stockists go to thanksplants.co