JEDDAH: Veganism has become a growing trend in Saudi Arabia with ever more people opting for a plant-based diet.
For some it is for health reasons, while for others it is a moral decision. As a result, supermarket shelves in the Kingdom have over the past four years seen an increase in stocks of vegan products.
In 2019, Amani Nouri, who gained a diploma in nutrition, founded Tuma Taiba — Arabic for good bite — in Jeddah, to cater for the burgeoning vegan market in the country.
“I chose to name it Tuma Taiba because good food is the foundation for a good body,” she told Arab News.
Her company offers vegan cheese spreads made from different nuts, and they come in flavors such as olives, pomegranate, and bell pepper. It also produces vegan and gluten-free pastries made with dates, sourdough bread, and kombucha tea in flavors including a mix of berries or apple, pineapple, and cinnamon.
The startup sold more than 500 products last year and aims to triple that amount this year.
Nouri said 85 percent of her diet was now plant-based after she made the decision to change her eating regime due to suffering from a number of health conditions that cleared up when she switched to a healthier diet.
“I suffered migraines once or twice a week to the point I needed strong painkillers, and this of course could hurt my kidneys and body in general.
“After I turned to the plant-based diet, I lost weight, I even look more youthful, all the pains and conditions I suffered from are cured, the cysts went away without any medication, and the hormonal imbalances too,” she added.
Family and friends encouraged Nouri to pursue the vegan business after trying her recipes. “On the insistence of family and friends, I started sharing my dishes with people because of the community’s need for different vegan-friendly food.”
She noted that the number of people in the Kingdom opting for vegan food was steadily increasing.
And some of her customers were non-vegans. “They find a delicious plant-based alternative that satisfies their tastes, and benefits their bodies, and notice the difference after eating more plant-based foods,” she said.
Tuma Taiba is planning to expand its product range and open a restaurant in the next couple of years.
• Details are available on Instagram @tumataiba.