What led this couple into booming vegan food business
12th Nov 2018 9:30 AM
A DAIRY intolerance has inspired a former Dalby man and his wife to enter the booming business of vegan food.
Kevin and Jenny Flanagan are the founders of Dairy-Free Down Under, Australia’s only large-scale manufacturer of dairy-free vegan-friendly cheese substitutes.
“Our inspiration came from one of our daughters who is intolerant to dairy and my desire to have us all sitting around the same table enjoying the same meal without cooking multiple alternatives,” Mrs Flanagan said.
Although the business’ range of vegan food launched in March, it has taken more than three years to research and develop a range of dairy substitute products.
Dairy-Free Down Under has a range of vegan dairy substitutes.
These products include cheeses, dips, and a sour cream that launched in Mexican food chain Zambrero on November 1.
“There is a growing niche for non-dairy and vegan-friendly food and very compelling health and humanitarian benefits associated with these lifestyles,” Mr Flanagan said.
“There were similar products available from overseas manufacturers, but no Australian company had successfully developed and commercialised dairy-free cheese alternatives.
“We had a few struggles during the research and development phase, but it has already proven incredibly successful.”
Dairy-Free Down Under was named winner of the emerging business category at the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards on Saturday night.
Mr Flanagan said the award was a reward for many years of hard work.
“We owe it to our team – there isn’t a single staff member out of our 30 employees who isn’t passionate and dedicated to our journey,” he said.
Mr and Mrs Flanagan are now looking to expand into overseas markets.
“There were so many impressive companies, we really didn’t think we were in the running – we were not expecting that, but it’s a sign of the times with veganism is on the rise and more people move away from dairy and embracing healthier or more conscious lifestyles,” Mrs Flanagan said.