But they are hoping all that will end soon with launch of a vegan tick of approval later this year.
The New Zealand Vegetarian Society said apart from the Fair Trading Act, there was no regulation around the marketing of vegan products – and a society-approved label would take the guesswork out of shopping.
“At the moment it’s purely a voluntary thing and people will put labels saying they’re vegan or vegetarian friendly but it’s taking them at their word and we’ve come across a lot of incidences where they’ve been incorrect,” national manager Stephanie Lane said.
“Because there’s so many hidden ingredients and flavourings and that sort of thing – even a basic bag of chips is not always vegetarian or vegan.”
Colmar Brunton’s 2017 Better Futures Report shows just over a quarter of New Zealanders now identify as vegetarian or vegan – a 7 per cent increase since 2014.