New "vegan" labelling guidelines

The growing demand for vegan and vegetarian products has made transparent labelling a necessity. The new and groundbreaking guidelines issued by the Austrian Codex Commission in November 2023 on the misleading labelling of plant-based, vegan and vegetarian foods are intended to help provide consumers with clear guidance when they are buying such products.

Among other things, the guidelines state that terms such as "vegan" or "100% plant-based" must be clearly defined to avoid any likelihood of confusion. For instance, the term "100% plant-based" may only be used to describe products that meet the requirements applicable to vegan foods. Clear rules have been established for the use of protected terms such as "whey" or "cheese" when referring to plant-based alternatives. To prevent consumers being misled, additional references to the plant-based composition must be provided on the labelling. In addition, the guidelines also contain provisions for invented terms used voluntarily that sound similar to animal products. Such terms are permitted if they clearly refer to the plant-based nature of the product. Further details can be found at: