2018 truly has been the ‘Year of the Vegan’ with uptake in meat-free and plant-based diets on the rise.
Research group, Kantar, has declared 2018 the year vegan goes mainstream with Britons eating 200 million more meat-free meals last year and spending on meat substitutes rising by £30m YOY. The UK market for meat-free food was valued at £572m in 2017 according to data from Mintel and supermarkets have been increasing their vegan ranges steadily across the year.
Uptake on a vegan diet is growing fast, with the uptake in Veganuary (a month-long challenge in January to partake in a vegan diet) going up threefold this year. In fact, veganism itself has increased fourfold in the past ten years to 550,000 people in the UK.
Young women are driving the majority of the growth of veganism and the #vegan tag on Instagram has 61m posts.
With increasing developments in meat substitutes and range of vegan options from both grocers and restaurants, veganism is becoming a more viable option for people to follow. But for those that aren’t quite ready to fully give up meat, flexitarianism is also a trend on the rise. Flexitarians may have largely meat-free days or weeks but not rule out meat altogether.
The rise in meat substitutes such as Seitan and Tempeh as well as ‘realistic bleeding’ burgers is allowing more and more flexitarians who might crave the taste of meat, to enjoy these flavours without worrying about possible environmental or health impact.
Supermarkets have dramatically increased vegan ranges in store and the leading summer food trend is expected to be vegan BBQ food.
Raynors currently has eight vegan options on its menu and is constantly looking to expand and develop its vegan range. We’ve just launched a Falafel and Chickpea Rainbow salad which features spinach, sweet potato, edamame beans, beetroot with chickpeas and our butternut falafel.
Research from Mintel showed that 49% of Britons were following a vegan diet for health reasons, while other reasons cited include weight management, animal welfare and environmental concerns.
A recent study from the University of Oxford found that a vegan diet could be the single biggest way to reduce environmental impact on earth and could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by up to 73%.
Whatever the reason for joining the vegan or flexitarian movement, one thing is for sure, it’s not going anywhere fast. Expect to see more vegan products hitting your high street.