World Vegan Month: Celebrating an increasingly popular lifestyle choice
October 25, 2019
World Vegan Month is once again upon us, celebrating veganism while growing awareness of the accessibility and benefits of this increasingly popular lifestyle choice.
The number of vegans has been rising since the concepts’ inception 75 years ago, with over 4.4 billion meat-free dinners being eaten ever year. While there are an estimated 600 thousand vegans in the UK, there are countless more experimenting with vegan and flexitarian diets for the benefit of the environment, animals and their health.
One in three British meat-eaters reduced their meat consumption last year according to a survey by Mintel, suggesting veganism is no longer marginalised; and its product offering certainly no longer consists of fruit and vegetables alone.
Did you know?
Sales of meat substitutes in Europe grew 451% between 2014 and 2018, a growth which shows no signs of slowing.
Meat-free products must be entirely free from animal derivatives in order to create and maintain a Vegan business’ brand, which can be a difficult task without proper management of the supply chain. Free-from food is a rapidly growing market, with 65% of twenty-five to thirty-four-year-olds claiming to regularly purchase some form of free-from product.
While the sector began to cater to customers with dietary restrictions, veganism is increasingly dominating the range leading to growing numbers of companies targeting vegans through their products.
Retail sales of vegan products are projected to reach £658 million by 2021, which provides companies with a huge potential for profit which could be missed if businesses fail to efficiently manage their supply chains. Customers ‘find reading labels time-consuming and are unsure of which products are vegan’, demonstrating the need for companies to clearly label their products. Brands are reliant upon trust, something which is easily lost if traces of meat are found within vegan products.
Increasingly conscious consumers mean supply chains are under more scrutiny than ever before, with one unlabelled ingredient having the ability to ruin the reputation of an entire company.
With 52% of Brits agreeing UK food labels make it difficult for people with specific dietary requirements to make informed decisions regarding their food and other goods, businesses who take the initiative to clearly label vegan products using software such as ARCUS® SIM to mitigate risks of inaccuracy could reap the rewards of a growing vegan population.