In an article published today in The Telegraph, editor of Vegan Living magazine Flic Everett discusses what she terms “vegan tax”, making a case in point of a recent scandal arising from the £28 price tag for two cauliflower steaks at a North London Young’s pub.
In the article, Everett puts across the argument that “increasingly, Veganuary appears to be a case of ‘show me a moral health crusade, and I’ll show you a way to make money” and suggests that during the Veganuary period there are “inflated menu prices for basic vegetables… giddily expensive supermarket salads, vegans are in danger of being taken for a very lucrative ride.”
The writer lists various ways in which vegan products cost more in comparison to their “mainstream” counterparts. For example, the UK high street chain Boots retails a breakfast sandwich containing pig bacon for £2.50, whereas “the vegan All-day breakfast sandwich, with vegan sausage and tomato, thuds in at £3.15.”
In terms of confectionary, Everett cites: “Similarly, Cadbury’s brunch chocolate chip bars are 99p for six- but vegan nakd lemon drizzle bars cost £2.49 for four.”
Even the basics, such as milk, seem to differ greatly in terms of cost. She compares a litre of oat milk from Planet Organic at £2.50, to £1.15 for “regular organic dairy milk. As more “luxury” items such as cheese are becoming more popular, the prices in turn will gradually decline, but it’s hard to argue that the difference in price for non-dairy cheese is presently an outrageous one, in most places. Everett cites that,”Planet Organic, 130g of smoked cashew ‘brie’ costs £9.50. No, your eyes do not deceive you. Asda’s extra special Cornish brie, made with dairy is £1.82 for 180g.”
Interestingly, there also appears to be a large discrepancy in price with the supermarket ranges too: “There are entire ranges, such as Tesco’s Wicked Kitchen and Waitrose Vegan, full of innovative, balanced and healthy dishes. They are not, however, cheap. At Tesco, an Old El Paso burrito kit costs £3.19 for 620g, while a fancy Wicked Kitchen ‘naked burrito’ made with beans and veg costs £3.50 for 400g.”
What do we think? It’s certainly an interesting discussion which should be discussed, and we at vegconomist will be reviewing the topic and reporting back soon.