A Reflection on Veganuary 2023 – What’s New in The Vegan Food and Drink Sector?
Last month many of us took part in the 9th Veganuary, the first of which took place in 2014. Back then, it was estimated that there were only 150,000 vegans in the UK. This year, 629,000 formally declared themselves as participants with the Veganuary Organisation.
The annual challenge continues to grow in popularity, and a convincing indicator of this is the continued investment and innovation into plant-based food and drinks from the industry.
Supermarket own-brand vegan lines are innovating at the fastest pace, with Asda introducing 112 new vegan and free-from products for 2023. The trend remains at all ends of the price spectrum.
Aldi continues to launch new freezer-fillers such as a Hoisin-No-Duck meal kit (competing with Linda McCartney’s bestseller), while Waitrose has launched its first ever plant-based dine in for two meal deal for two. Sainsbury’s reported that in 2022 vegan purchases went up by 9% compared to the previous year.
Cupboard favourites launches also made the news this Veganuary. Heinz has launched vegan versions of Cream of Tomato Soup, and Beanz & Sausages. Nestle has brought back the vegan Kit-Kat and Unilever launched a vegan raspberry swirl Magnum.
Greggs has rolled out three new vegan alternatives to its well-loved favourites: southern fried chicken-free baguette, chicken-free cajun roll, and chicken-free goujons.
Peter Andre has joined Beyond Meat (producers of McDonald’s super-successful McPlant burger) as an ambassador.
This month, plant based frontrunner Finnebrogue (behind brands such as Better Naked) reported an operating profit of £9.4m for the previous year (£2.9m up from the year before). They attribute this to innovation and cost control.
Vegan Start-Ups Continue to Attract Investor Interest
Seedrs’ (online platform that allows investment through equity crowdfunding) latest annual report reveals that plant-based start-ups raised £105.1m, dominating the food sector across the platform.
Is it just vegans though? Research suggests that meat sales are not necessarily slumping. This suggests people are open to trying new products (vegan and non-vegan alike), and in turn, simply buying more food.
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This article was prepared by Olivia Malek.
If you would like to discuss anything raised in this article or discuss your food and drink business please get in touch with Daisy Divoka.