A record 500,000 sign up for Veganuary 2021, as retailers and manufacturers rush to launch new products to meet the expected demand. A quarter of those signed up, 125,000, are based in the UK according the annual vegan pledge.
For this years Veganuary major retailers like Aldi, Asda, and Iceland have dedicated pages to assist their customers that are undertaking the pledge, offering them product information, recipes and advice. For the first time ever, Tesco has run dedicated television and radio ads to promote their Veganuary offerings.
The Guardian reports that new research from the investment bank UBS on plant-based alternatives to meat, such as veggie burgers and sausages, shows a rising number of people are trying the new products. The proportion of people who have tried the alternatives rose from 48% to 53% between March and November 2020, according to UBS’s survey of 3,000 consumers in the UK, US and Germany. It also found that half of those who try plant-based alternatives to meat continue to eat them at least weekly.
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“It really feels to me that plant-based eating is no longer controversial,” said Toni Vernelli from Veganuary. “Pretty much everyone has accepted we need to be reducing animal products in our diets for environmental reasons.”
“The way British supermarkets have embraced Veganuary this year is truly game-changing,” she said. “They are not simply using it as a marketing opportunity, but are promoting the many benefits of plant-based eating. As bastions of our food supply, they know that the only sustainable way forward is plant-focused.”
Vernelli highlighted a message about animal welfare on Aldi’s website: “Eating less meat or avoiding animal products altogether is often a really transparent way to show you want to make a difference.” Vernelli also noted that Marks & Spencer had produced a 31-day Veganuary meal plan.