Definitions of vegetarian and vegan (Switzerland)

Foodstuffs may only be labelled as "vegetarian" or similar if they do not contain any ingredients of animal origin, ex-cept for milk, eggs, or honey. They may only be labelled as "vegan" if they contain no ingredients of animal origin at all. The Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) issued an information letter regarding “vegan and vegetarian alternatives to foods of animal origin”. The aim of this information letter is to provide criteria for the as-sessment of the designations/product names used to ensure a uniform interpretation and application of food law. Surrogates and imitation products may only be labelled and advertised in such a way that consumers are able to recognise the true nature of the food and distinguish it from products with which it could be confused.

This is general information rather than legal advice and is current as of 30 May 2024. We recommend you contact a specialised food lawyer for legal advice for your particular circumstances to support commercial decisions which could impact your product or business.

Karola Krell