Jan 12, 2018
Ready, Steady, Stop!
by Nina McCoy - Senior Account Director
Whether it’s celebrity fad diets such as clean eating or reality-based money saving advice such as How to Eat Well For Less, eating habits are never out of the media. The latest to hit the headlines is Veganuary, a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.
So as we settle into 2018, is ‘going vegan’ a new year January fad or a trend that’s set to grow?
Supermarkets across the UK clearly believe the latter, as we see them fleshing out their vegan credentials:
- Tesco’s recently appointed director of plant-based Innovation, Derek Sarno has masterminded the launch of Wicked Kitchen – a range of 11 ready meals and 9 food-to-go options
- Ocado claims "This month we’re adding over 90 products to our vegan offering – meaning we now offer the largest vegan range of any UK supermarket."
- Sainsbury’s has recently doubled the number of dairy alternative SKUs on its shelves and launched a new dedicated dairy-free fixture
- And even the discounters, known for their limited ranging, have an expanding range of vegan products
The high street restaurant chains are getting in on the act too…and I must say, some of it looks delicious. The video from Le Pain Quotidien makes my mouth water!
Zizzi, Pret, Ask, Wagamama and Pizza Express to name but a few all have vegan offerings, and some, as with other free from choices, have vegan menus – All Bar One and, perhaps more surprisingly, even JD Wetherspoon has a (limited) vegan menu.
However, it’s easy to get it wrong. Marks & Spencer has withdrawn its “cauliflower steak” product from sale after it was ridiculed by consumers for its “excessive” plastic packaging and inflated price.
The sliced cauliflower, which came in plastic packaging with a separate sachet of lemon and herb drizzle, was being sold for twice the price of a whole, single cauliflower at the retailer. Rival Sainsbury’s also sells a similar product – a pack of two “cauliflower steaks in a herb and spice marinade” for £1.80, which is still on shelf.
Whilst we may not all be willing to become full-time vegans like Lewis Hamilton, one of the most striking food trends of 2017 was 'flexitarianism', with one in three people saying they were trying to reduce their meat intake. According to The Vegan Society, more than half of UK adults are adopting “vegan-buying behaviour”, and the number of full-time vegans in the UK has grown fourfold in the past 10 years. And with UK plant-based foods sales up 1,500% in the last year, it’s hard to see this growth being just a flash in the pan.
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