Flora, the spread brand, is a staple in kitchens up and down the UK with its versatility and health benefits making it a great alternative to margarine and butter. The company who produces Flora, Upfield, has decided to utilise the power of plants and has made its products 100% suitable for vegans.
Flora is now 100% vegan!
When Did Flora Become Vegan?
Originally, Flora launched a dairy-free spread in 2016, yet still produced spreads with animal products in them too. Now, since 2019, Flora Original, Flora Buttery and Flora Light are all suitable for vegans to consume. The brand has registered these products with the Vegan Society, meaning that those who like to only use plant-powered products can use Flora’s spreads with peace of mind that no animals were harmed in the production process. They even have a vegan recipes page on their site!
Flora is not the only company to switch to vegan recipes, Jammie Dodgers announced they will be reverting back to their original vegan recipe, which will be available from July 13th.
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Is Flora Healthier Than Butter?
According to Flora, its new vegan recipe is filled with 100% plant-based ingredients and has no preservatives, artificial colours or flavourings. The spreads are naturally rich in Omega 3 & 6 and have 67% less saturated fat than butter. In a Flora Original spread, there are plant oils (that make up 70% of the ingredients) including sunflower, rapeseed, linseed and sustainable palm oils, as well as water, salt, vinegar, natural flavourings and Vitamin A.
The high levels of Omega 3 & 6 have a number of health benefits, including improved heart function, brain development, and for the treatment of chronic diseases. What’s more, the low levels of saturated fats can lower cholesterol and the subsequent risk of heart disease and stroke.
Does Flora Contain Palm Oil?
Yes, Flora uses a blend of plant oils in their products, which includes palm oil. Nevertheless, Flora have explained on their website that the palm oil used in their spreads is ‘from sources that respect human rights, cause no deforestation or climate change impacts’, Upfield is also a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) so is actively working with palm oil producers to find more sustainable ways of obtaining the oil.
For more information on palm oil, check out Is Palm Oil Bad? The Consequences on Wildlife and the Environment.
Why Has Flora Gone Vegan?
With more and more people converting to veganism, this decision to move away from animal products by Flora is a progressive step made by the brand. Steven Hermiston, UK & Ireland general manager, said: “Health and well-being have never been so important to consumers, people care more about what goes into the products they are feeding themselves and their families, but they are not prepared to compromise on taste – and they shouldn’t have to.”
He continued, “With a great new recipe making Flora more delicious than ever, our new 100% plant goodness range can be enjoyed by the whole family. Plant-based nutrition is at the heart of the Upfield business and Flora, with its plant goodness, is set to lead the charge and marks a key moment for us and the wider category.”
Dairy No More?
For years the question about which is better between butter or margarine has been circulating, with advocates for both sides of the argument. However, in the last few years research has found that dairy may not have the health benefits it was once believed to have. For example, research has shown that higher intakes of both calcium and dairy products may increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 30 to 50 per cent. Dairy consumption also has been found to increase the body’s level of a known cancer promoter – insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). In addition, about 75 per cent of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products – a problem called lactose intolerance.
Thanks to the great strides made in science in recent years, people are now more aware of the health risks of consuming dairy and have better alternatives to swap out butter for good. Flora is paving the way for dairy-free spreads and hopefully will encourage others to make the swap to a healthier spread.
For more information on which brands are vegan or sell vegan products, check out our Ultimate Guide: Is it Vegan?