De Vegetarische Slager (“The Vegetarian Butcher”) scores one hit after the other: from vegetarian chicken pieces to vegan petit filet a l'Americain, the Dutch are discovering these meat substitutes more and more. Recently, the Advertising Code Committee received a complaint about a radio commercial in which BBQ King Jord Althuizen cooks with the vegan Bofkipburger of the popular meat substitute brand.

According to the complainant, the commercial gives the impression that the burger is made of meat. The name 'Bofkipburger' is said to cause confusion among consumers and injustice to 'real' butchers.

The chairman of the Advertising Code Committee is of the opinion that it is sufficiently clear that the 'Bofkipburger' is not made of meat and that the butcher referred to only sells vegetarian products. The 'Bofkipburger' is a humorous description of a vegetable alternative to chicken meat. Moreover, the average consumer is now accustomed to the use of meat designations for vegetarian products, which is also permitted by law.

In short, there is no misleading food information, the consumer is not confused. Not a surprising decision, but it is clear that the use of meat names for vegetarian alternatives is a hot topic. On the one hand you have the supporters of (more) vegetarian products who applaud the development and, on the other hand the meat industry who, on the contrary, do not want anything to do with the use of 'their meat names' for non-meat products. At the European level, a legislative proposal has even been submitted to ban the use of meat designations for vegetable products. It is now clear that the ban will not happen, as the European Parliament has voted against the proposal. For the time being the vegetarian Auf Wieder Schnitzels, vegan smoked sausages and other animal-friendly alternatives will be widely available on the shelves.

Lisanne Steenbergen