UK is Now World Leader for Vegan Food Launches

Fresh African Vegetables on Market Stall in London
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New research from Mintel shows that UK vegan new product development (NPD) is flourishing so much so that in 2018 the UK was the nation with the highest number of new vegan food products launched, toppling Germany from its number one spot.

Mintel released the data on 10th January, highlighting the UK as a new and rising market in terms of veganism. According to their information, as many as “one in six (16%) food products launched in the UK in 2018 had a vegan/no animal ingredients claim, doubling from just 8% in 2015.” The previous world leader, Germany, is now said to be a “mature and saturated market” for veganism, with decreasing numbers of vegan food NPD. Germany’s total vegan food launches is reported by Mintel to have dropped 15% in 2017 to 13% in 2018.

The data also reveals that “one in three (34%) British meat eaters reduced their meat consumption in the six months to July 2018.” News articles appear to be a big influence in this uptake, with 31% of British consumers stating that recent news articles make a convincing argument for the reduction of meat.

Non-dairy milk sales increased 9.4% “from £202 million in 2016 to £221 million in 2017. Meanwhile, one in ten (9%) Brits drank plant-based milk in the three months to February 2018, rising to 27% of consumers aged 25-34.” On the other hand, four out of ten Brits said that vegan meals are “boring” and 41% stated that they are “overpriced”.

Edward Bergen, Global Food and Drinks Analyst at Mintel commented: “For a number of years Germany led the world for launches of vegan products. However, 2018 saw the UK take the helm. Germany has certainly plateaued, likely driven by a flooded market with little room to grow further. The UK, by contrast, has seen a huge promotion of vegan restaurants and new ranges. The most poignant of these is the expansion of supermarket own-label ranges in mainstream stores, with dedicated vegan ranges. Additional space is also being freed up by UK supermarkets in the on-the-go aisles and small format stores, to help promote vegan options and make it easier for meat eating consumers to try these new concepts out.

“Meanwhile, initiatives like ‘Veganuary’ and ‘meat-less Monday’ allow consumers to flirt with veganism without the long-term commitment. As more people reduce their meat intake, they experiment with more plant-based dishes catering for their flexitarian lifestyles – whether at home, on-the-go or in restaurants. Moreover, consumers are becoming more willing than ever to expand their comfort zones, push themselves to the limit with new experiences and use social media to compete with and offer inspiration to their peers.”