The vegan and vegetarian food market continues to grow

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The vegan and vegetarian food market continues to grow

The vegan and vegetarian food market continues to grow

In recent years the food and drink sector has seen a huge increase in demand for both vegan and vegetarian products as concerns over health, the environment and animal welfare have lead consumers to seek alternatives to animal products.

To reflect changing consumer attitudes, many food retailers have introduced meat and other animal food product alternatives to their shelves.

The Vegan Society estimates that the number of vegans in Great Britain has quadrupled between 2014 and 2018, however, vegans as a group still make up only an estimated 1.16% of the UK population. Research company Kantar estimates that actually as much as 92% of plant-based meals in the UK in 2018 were consumed by non-vegans.

Whilst YouGov estimates that around 87% of the British population are meat eaters, a report by Waitrose in 2018 found that 33.5% of people in the UK are either cutting down or completely cutting out meat.
Food retailers and outlets have sought to hop on the vegetarian and vegan bandwagon. Major supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose have launched their own-brand vegan ranges and also stock brand-name vegan products such as those from Oumph! and Vivera. Tesco’s sales of chilled vegan foods grew by 25% in 2018.

Greggs made headlines earlier this year with the launch of its vegan sausage role. Well-known high street food chains such as Pizza Hut and Zizzi have also introduced vegan dishes to their menus, whilst Pret a Manger has plans to convert the 94 stores it acquired in its purchase of the food chain Eat into veggie Prets. Other food companies, such as Unilever and Nestlé, have instead chosen to invest in plant-based meat start-ups.

Market sources suggest that the trend towards investment in vegan and vegetarian products, and the companies that produce them, will continue increasing, with analysts at Barclays predicting that the alternative meat market will grow more than tenfold to $140 billion within a decade, capturing about 10% of the $1.4 trillion global meat industry.

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This article was prepared by Bruna Oliveira.