The global vegan revolution is crossing into the mainstream.
Major supermarkets and restaurants are introducing private label offerings free from meat and dairy.
Supermarkets are spotlighting Veganuary this month and initiating private-label vegan foods. British retailer Tesco rolled out its plant-based range on January 8 across 600 of its UK stores. Teaming up with Derek Sarno, formerly Whole Food Market’s senior global executive chef, the company has created Wicked Kitchen—20 inventive vegan meals which include turmeric bulgur wheat salad and mushroom teriyaki noodles. This comes after Tesco reported a 40% rise in sales of vegetarian and vegan ready meals and snacks.
Asda supermarket introduced its food-to-go vegan range after identifying simple grab-and-go vegan options as a gap in its repertoire. “With more people becoming vegan or eating more of a plant-based diet the vegan options are only going to improve,” says Andrew Johnston, Asda’s innovations development chef. “In the future we want to have a lot more inclusivity in our ranges and we want that to extend across all of our categories.”
German supermarket chain Aldi released Earth Grown, a line of vegan and vegetarian products, in December 2017. The release is restricted to certain American stores for now, and products include soy protein burgers and meatless “meatballs.”
Fast-food chains are adding vegan options to their menus. Domino’s launched three vegan pizzas in Australia this month, topped with vegan mozzarella cheese. Pizza Hut is offering vegan cheese in all of its branches following a successful initial trial and McDonald’s officially launched the McVegan burger last month in Sweden and Finland, again following enthusiastic consumer response to a trial.
Airlines are also getting in on the vegan action with Jetstar adding vegan dishes to its international in-flight menu in order to meet passenger dietary demands. American Airlines also offers vegan options.
Mass market veganism comes as no surprise as the overall market for plant-based food sector reaches $3.1 billion, resulting in a growth of 8.1% in the year to September 2017 compared to the previous year, reports a recent study by Nielsen. Plant-based dairy alternatives such as vegan cheeses, yogurts and ice creams also grew by 20%, totaling over $700 million in sales in the same period.
Veganuary 2018 is expected to reach 150,000 global participants, almost tripling last year’s 59,500 supporters. Expect vegan habits to remain even when January is over, as consumers increasingly turn to meat and dairy alternatives.
For more on the top food and drink trends of 2018, download The Future 100.