More people are turning to veganism than ever before due to the health benefits of following a plant-based diet and also due to environmental concerns. It is now more widely known by consumers that a meat/animal protein-based diet has an impact on global warming.
As people reduce their intake and adopt a flexitarian diet, the demand for vegan products will continue to rise.
That said, it is important for the food industry to supply appetising and appealing meals and ingredients that not only taste good but also supply the right nutritional support, if we are to maintain the trend and meet the demand from consumers.
There is no doubt that 2021 will be the biggest Veganuary event we have seen so far, particularly following the pandemic where the demand for plant-based products increased. In 2020, a record 400,000 people signed up for Veganuary, and that number is only set to increase in 2021.
Just by looking at the sheer amount of new vegan products currently on the market and in the pipeline, it is clear to see how Veganuary will continue to grow year on year.
At Loma Linda, it is important to us that we do not limit the promotion of our product line and messaging exclusively to January as the demand for vegan products is now apparent year-round. While Veganuary is great for awareness and introducing meat eaters to plant-based products, brands should maintain the same passion for these products throughout the year.
We are planning Veganuary promotions with all of our retailers, which will include Morrisons, Asda, and Holland & Barrett to mention but a few.
Uptake in plant-based in retail
The data clearly tells us that the vegan trend is becoming more mainstream and flexitarian consumers are regularly choosing to incorporate vegan products into their diet.
The UK is the leading market in Europe for purchase of vegan products as more people are adopting this lifestyle. In 2020, all leading UK supermarkets had their own vegan range reflecting the increased consumer demand.
We are already selling products in Hungary, Sweden, Malta, Switzerland and in major discussions in both Germany and Benelux. This shows that the demand is not just limited to the UK but something that we are seeing across Europe.
The impact on the environment is quite clear. Animal proteins require large amounts of land, animal feed and water to develop. All of these are vital natural resources that are being depleted by rearing animals and the impact of disposing of animal waste is also quite enormous.
In short, the more we can move away from animal protein the better for the environment. In our case, as a seafood alternative brand, it enables the consumers to reduce their demand on canned seafood which in turn will help reduce the fishing effort.
This not only helps preserve the ocean population but also reduces the environmental impact of fishing boats in the areas of general overfishing. If the demand for fishing decreases, we can also reduce the by-catch impact which negatively affects a number of marine mammals as well as the environmental impacts of discarded fishing nets and pollution caused by fish aggregating devices (FAD).
Looking forward to 2025, it is estimated that 25% of the UK population will follow a vegetarian or vegan diet and around 50% a flexitarian diet, so the demand for products will continue to grow.
As more of the big retailers add plant-based products to their range, it acts as a catalyst for other retailers to follow suit to be a part of the conversation and to get a share of the market.
Plant-based products are one of the key area’s retailers can capitalise on to create a point of difference from each other and they are continually trying to find innovative products that consumer’s have not seen before.