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The Vegan Shopping Revolution

Monday, April 16th, 2018

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. But in 2018, the vegan food revolution is sweeping the U.K. and becoming a mainstream movement that affects not only what shoppers buy but also how retailers approach their product mix.

According to The Vegan Society, more than half of U.K. adults are now adopting “vegan buying behavior,” while the number of full-time vegans has grown fourfold in the past 10 years. Veganuary—a pledge to not eat animal products during January—is one example of this growing trend, and we are seeing supermarkets across the U.K. embracing it.

For example:

— The Wicked Kitchen, the largest supermarket-owned brand of 100% plant-based meals, from crispy carrots pastrami to sourdough pizza, went on sale in January in 600 Tesco stores.

— Online grocer Ocado has added 90 products to its dedicated vegan site.

— Manufacturers are responding to the growing interest in plant-based diets with successful NPDs like the vegan Baileys Almond, which was released in major U.K. supermarkets this year.

Mintel research also highlights potential for vegan chocolate across Europe. More than half of chocolate eaters in Spain (55%), France (53%), and Poland (53%) are interested in vegan chocolate. Vegan confectionery is also slowly being introduced into the U.K.:in 2017, 8% of chocolate launches in the U.K. were vegan.

— Restaurants menus are getting a vegan makeover, like Pret A Manger, which introduced a range of vegan pots, or Pizza Express and Pizza Hut both offering pizza with vegan-friendly cheese.

The demand for vegan and cruelty-free makeup also continues to rise. In 2017, Superdrug launched its own-brand vegan make-up range and opened its Little Vegan Pop-Up in east London in March.

Veganism is not a passing fad. There is great potential for retailers to meet shoppers’ demands with more options that have vegan credentials. As more shoppers (especially a core younger demographic) seek more nutritious or ethical choices, there are opportunities for brands and retailers to engage shoppers with solutions like “free from” aisles, plant-based alternatives, or innovations that support a more balanced and healthier lifestyle.

Contributed By: Laurence Poichot, Integer London

Image Source: Unsplash

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