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Skinny Bitch: Why Now is the Right Time to Start a Vegan Business

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Skinny Bitch, for those who aren’t already aware of the diet craze from last decade, is a diet book written by former modelling agent Rory Freedman and former model Kim Barnouin. The book, which advocates a purely plant-based diet and includes sections on factory farming and animal cruelty, was a phenomenal hit especially in the UK and in Canada, after Victoria Beckham was pictured carrying a copy.

Skinny Bitch became a New York Times bestseller and eventually progressed into a movement, encompassing diet plans and further books, including Skinny Bastard. The authors said that their book “was originally written to compare the vegan diet with the standard American diet, examining the effects that these different lifestyles have on body weight, energy, health and longevity. It was an overnight success story! And we helped thousands of people understand the harm they were causing to their health and begin the transition to a newer, healthier vegan existence”

Now thirteen years later, the authors are launching a crowdfunding campaign for their range of supplements, and offer a simple program based around 3 key pillars: nutrition, exercise, and effective supplementation. Kim Barnouin kindly offers us her insight and years of experience with veganism, to provide us with our nextExpert Opinion.

Why now is the right time to start a vegan business

“The vegan surge has been driven by strong arguments around animal welfare, environmentalism and health and wellbeing. It’s far less common, however, to hear the business case for veganism. 

Not every consumer product is a force for good, but that doesn’t mean money can’t be a driving force for change. Good news then that veganism is not only winning the moral argument – it’s increasingly winning the economic argument, too. For vegan businesses and food producers, long-held beliefs and commitments are finally beginning to pay off. In 2017 alone, Just Eat, the UK’s biggest food order and takeaway service, saw a massive 987% increase in the demand for meat-free food and predicted veganism to be the biggest food trend of 2018.

While the vegan movement has exploded in recent years, the trend has not come out of the blue. On Google, the trend for ‘vegan’ searches quadrupled in the five years between 2012 and 2017, and, perhaps most surprisingly, it is now three times more popular than vegetarian and gluten-free searches, according to Vegan Society.

So, what’s driving the vegan trend? Young people in particular tend to be more concerned about the environment and animal welfare, and are adopting veganism en masse.

The plant-based or vegan lifestyle is no longer just for hippies and their fake-leather Birkenstocks, it’s being adopted globally; in the UK, according to Mintel, 20% of 16-24 year-olds are either vegetarian or vegan. In the U.S. just four years ago 1% of Americans said they were vegan, today that’s risen to 6%, an increase of 500% in just four years!

With an influx of vegan diets to cater for, supermarkets have responded. Waitrose now has a vegan section in more than 130 shops, while Iceland’s sales of plant-based food have shot up by 10% in the previous year, according to the BBC.

The constantly expanding clientele and market, and an ever-growing environmental case, there’s never been a better time to start a vegan business. I expect many more would-be vegan entrepreneurs to join the world of business as their chance of success continues to increase dramatically.

More and more non-vegan companies are trying their hand at making the leap to veganism, with bigger profits, environmental sustainability and the soaring demand for vegan products driving this change.

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, predicts a plant-based revolution is coming. Moving away from the standard American diet to a more plant-based diet, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and fights back against climate change. He named the number one “game-changing” trend of the future as the consumption of plant-based proteins instead of meat.

Tom Hayes the CEO of Tyson Foods Inc, one of the world’s largest meat processors said the food industry’s future is plant-based protein. In my opinion this trend of meat alternatives growing quicker will continue. Tyson has started a venture capital fund to invest in meat alternative start-ups and has acquired 5% of Beyond Meat one of the fastest growing plant-based food companies in the U.S.

Wiesenhof, Germany’s largest poultry producer introduced a vegan product-line and expects 30% of its 2020 revenue to come from this new range.

Elmhurst Dairy in Queens, New York has ceased its dairy operation after 90 years citing decreased customer demand. CEO Henry Schwartz said “Pasteurised fluid milk has sort of gone out of style.” They have since rebranded Elmhurst and gone into producing plant-based milk alternatives.

A recent study discussed in Forbes Magazine said; ”A full 70% of the world population reportedly is either reducing meat consumption, or leaving meat off the table altogether.”

So, if you’re a budding vegan entrepreneur, be sure that the ground is very fertile and there is a huge market out there to (literally) cater for. If you do, you’ll know that your business will be another strong link in the vegan movement that’s already changing the world for the better.

One such pioneer of the movement is Skinny Bitch – we’re reinventing ourselves from the New York Times bestselling vegan diet book, into a range of plant-based proteins and nutritional supplements, if you’re interested check out our equity based crowdfunding campaign:


Kim Barnouin is the author of the New York Times bestselling book ‘Skinny Bitch’ and founder of the Skinny Bitch approach to weight loss which is based around 3 key pillars: nutrition, exercise, and effective supplementation. Skinny Bitch offers a range of weight loss programmes, recipes and food products to help you lose weight naturally and healthily.

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