Veganuary is now in its fifth year and bigger than ever! 2018 saw consumers and brands alike embracing the trend – a massive 16% of new food launches in the UK were vegan, double the number in 2017. Why are people making this change? Health and animal rights have always played a part, but the environmental repercussions of eating meat are a growing factor. Now many brands are recognising opportunities around the movement – and we’ve identified 3 key ways in which retailers are getting involved:
1. Positive PR
Early 2019 has been as packed as a meat pie with news stories about Greggs’ vegan sausage roll; a simple but clever concept that went viral on social media. The company’s bold and original campaign guaranteed the launch gained as much traction as possible. From vegan sausage rolls sent out to journalists in iPhone-style packaging, to having witty Twitter remarks at the ready, Greggs ensured their initiative was top of newsfeeds during Veganuary.
2. Future proofing
Whatever consumers’ reasons for being vegan or cutting down on their meat consumption, farsighted brands are taking steps to be more inclusive for those taking this path. M&S launched its extensive vegan range, Plant Kitchen, just in time for Veganuary, whilst Unilever acquired a meat-free food company to keep on the front foot in the meat-substitute market. These investments are a clear signal that veganism is being increasingly seen as not a fad but a fact of modern life.
3. Shouting about existing vegan credentials
As veganism goes more mainstream, the fear of alienating consumers with messages on the subject is dissipating. In fact, shouting proudly about vegan and ethical ranges is on the rise. Many long-established products are vegan but, until recently, awareness of this was low. Aldi has moved to address this in its latest ad, which showcases a shopping basket full of vegan products, from wine to fruit to Weetabix.
Source: The Guardian
In summary, the growth of veganism is a prime example of how consumers are looking more closely at the products they buy and the food they eat. It’s a trend that presents challenges and opportunities – one that can swiftly leave a brand looking irrelevant or, if it adapts, like a company that’s truly alive to changing tastes.