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

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.

This year has seen the biggest hike in food priced since 2011 when GST was raised and there are calls for an inquiry into why. Source: Q+A

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

A quarter of Kiwis are expected to be eating no meat by 2025. Source: 1 NEWS



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State Highway One closed north of Auckland after crash leaves one person in critical condition

State Highway One is closed north of Auckland after a crash.

Police say they were called to the scene near Schollum Access Road, Warkworth, around 5pm.

One person was trapped in a vehicle and has been cut free.

A helicopter is at the scene now and the person will be transported to hospital in a critical condition.

Diversions are in place at the intersection of SH1 and Moir Hill Road, and SH1 and Woodcocks Road.

The road is closed in both directions while the Serious Crash Unit investigates.

Police advise motorists to delay travel where possible and expect delays.

A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle
A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle. Source: 1 NEWS