Plant Based, Retail food and drink trends

It’s a merry vegan Christmas for retailers

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Major retailers like Tesco, Waitrose and M&S have reported surges in plant-based food as 2021 vegan Christmas offerings see huge demand. The huge growth has led to more new product offerings to meet the needs of plant-based eaters during the holiday festivities.

Research has revealed that one in four UK consumers plans to eat more vegan food at Christmas this year, and this has led to strong sales for plant-based Christmas items at supermarkets. This year it’s not just nut roast, new products include sticky toffee pudding, ‘veganettone’ and even a whole ‘no turkey’ crowns to grab a share of the market.

Derek Sarno, a US chef and self-proclaimed “plant pusher” hired by Tesco as its “director of plant-based innovation” to overhaul and bolster the entire range, told the Guardian: “It looks like turkey, carves like turkey and even tastes like it. It has taken us two years to bring this to market and it’s the first of its kind, and what I believe will be a game-changer for the industry. Made of wheat protein and soy, we also worked with a specialist flavour house to create a natural plant-base turkey flavouring that gives the full experience of the real thing.”

Charlotte McCarthy, vegan buyer at Waitrose said: “We anticipate this Christmas will be the biggest ever for vegan food. We’ve worked really hard to ensure that there is an exciting range available for our customers that is delicious, whether they follow a vegan diet or not.”

Al Overton, Planet Organic’s buying director, said: “Countless Christmas vegan items are selling well, including dairy-free chocolate and cheese platters, Christmas cakes and wine; traditional items made to vegan recipes so nobody has to miss out. The seitan roast – an alternative to turkey – has recently sold out, as has the truffle and mushroom faux gras pate, but there will be more available at least a week before Christmas.”

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