Veganuary 2021 has come to an end and has revealed some outstanding figures. In total, an official number of 582,538 people signed-up (not counting those who took part unofficially without signing up), far exceeding the target of 500,000. The groundbreaking initiative has also inspired an explosion of plant-based product launches, menu items and market activity.
Hundreds of new plant-based products launched in conjunction with the organisation and many initial sales have exceeded expectations. UK restaurant Leon released its Vegan Sweet Carolina BBQ Burger and in just one week was its bestselling burger.
Department store Marks and Spencer reporting selling one of its new No Salt Beef Pretzel Roll every 30 seconds. Pret a Manger’s new Meatless Meatball Hot Wrap was its first new product to become a top-five bestseller in launch week in the company’s history. The vegan meatball wrap will now permanently replace the original meatball wrap on Pret’s menu.
Food delivery service Deliveroo confirmed a huge increase in demand for vegan food with order volume from vegan restaurants up 146% and vegan options from other restaurants up 114% YOY, while new customers purchasing vegan were up 163% YOY. Plant-based brands also enjoyed record sales, with Meatless Farm reporting a 111% YOY sales increase for the first two weeks of January. Squeaky Bean also launched several new plant-based meat alternatives this January with sales up 222% compared to Veganuary 2020. Plant-based meat start-up THIS recorded over £300,000 of retail sales in just the first week of January alone.
In addition, a host of international celebrities, politicians, NGOs and businesses signed a joint letter calling on climate change action and pandemic prevention through plant-based diets with participants coming from 209 countries and territories around the world.
Reflecting on the 2021 campaign, Veganuary’s Head of Communications Toni Vernelli says: “With the link between animal farming, the climate crisis and global pandemics making headlines nearly every day, we expected Veganuary 2021 to be the biggest yet but it exceeded all of our expectations. We applaud everyone who took part and encourage them to continue eating vegan food as often as possible. And we’re grateful to all of the businesses embracing Veganuary and making it easier for more people to eat more plant-based food more often. Together we are making an enormous difference for animals, the planet and human health.”