US-style low-and-slow, Argentinian asado, South Africa’s braai – all variations on the theme of meat cooked over a fire. As we head into the ...
Muso and food entrepreneur Flip Grater is on a mission to popularise plant-based goodies so you can have your pleasures without having to compromise your principles. She calls it ethical hedonism.
You probably first popped up on many people's radar as a musician. Tell us about that part of your life? Yeah I worked in the music industry for many years, touring and recording. It was a great lifestyle and creative outlet. But after my daughter Anais was born I just felt like I needed to do more for the planet than singing sad songs!
Do you still find time for performing? I haven't played in public for a while but Anais and I play and sing around the house and I still love making music. I will always write and play because it's who I am. I'm just not doing it professionally at this moment in time.
How did you get started on Grater Goods? As I say I really felt a sense of urgency around climate change when Anais was born so I pivoted into food as a form of delicious activism. I had come back to Christchurch from living in Europe with the habit of having Apero at the end of the day but I couldn't find anything to eat with a nice glass of pinot so I started experimenting with making types of plant-based charcuterie. Eventually I came up with some recipes that were decadent and satisfying and I thought, perhaps others would like these too. Turns out they did!
What is its kaupapa? We exist to bring truly delicious plant-based options to the world. We provide gourmet antipasti products for customers who love to gather around food, who are hosting a special occasion or are simply wanting to indulge in an excellent deli sandwich.
Ethical hedonism – it's like having your cake and eating it too, isn't it? Absolutely. It's about not having to compromise your pleasure for your principles. I mean, what's the point of saving the planet if we're all having a terrible time on it and eating horrible food?
You are seeking investors for Grater Goods. What will the injection of funds be used for? We have been growing steadily in Aotearoa and there is still lots of room to grow here. We also want to take these foods to Australia, a market with five times the opportunity and an existing culture of enjoying deli meats and charcuterie. So we're raising funds to upgrade our equipment here in Ōtautahi, retain and grow our team and take the first steps into Australia.
Are you pleasantly surprised or still impatient at the rate of adoption of plant-based food alternatives? The change in attitude around these foods has taken a long time, with enormous efforts from policymakers, filmmakers, activists and businesses. But the popularity we've seen recently has been rapid and heartening. Consumers are increasingly making more sustainable choices. And with better and better plant-based options coming onto the market, those earth-conscious choices are getting easier and easier to make.
Does New Zealand have the jump on Australia with plant-based alternatives? Australia is currently the second fastest-growing plant-based market in the world but we're not far behind. According to recent data, 40 – 50 percent of New Zealanders consider themselves to be flexitarian, which just shows how generally open-minded and sustainability-focused we are as a nation.