Watch: Suppliers of vegan products struggling to keep up with demand from Kiwis

Source: 1News

As the price of meat and dairy products continues to spiral, suppliers of vegan products say they're struggling to keep up with the burgeoning demand.

This year has seen the biggest hike in food prices since 2011 when GST was raised to 15 per cent, and the rising cost of food is in stark contrast to low wage increases.

Ten years ago the Vegan Expo was a few stalls in a community hall but now it's mushroomed to a point where even a new venue in Christchurch is bursting at the seams. 

Memberships at vegan and vegetarian groups have swelled nationwide. 

The demand for meat-free alternatives is on the rise and companies showing at the expo say business is booming like never before.

"In the last three years our turnover has doubled every year. And that's going to happen again this year," said Alice Shopland of Angel Food.

And retailers agree. Sales for plant-based products like vege burgers, tofu and falafel have soared 20 per cent in the past year. 

Many visiting the expo are recent converts and the latest wave of new vegans has partly stemmed from high profile Netflix documentaries like 'What the Health' and 'Cowspiracy'. 

The docos have delivered messages such as "animal agriculture is the number one contributor to human-caused climate change".

"They shock people into thinking about what they're eating. And people start to feel uncomfortable about what they've eaten in the past," said Mel Patterson of the Christchurch Vegetarian Centre.

With younger people adopting veganism at the fastest rate, the sector is anticipating healthy growth.