Britain’s supermarkets are reporting a surge in sales of vegan food, which they expect to continue throughout the year, despite the end of Veganuary.
According to The Vegan Society, more than half of UK adults are now adopting “vegan buying behaviour”, while the number of full-time vegans in the UK has grown fourfold in the past 10 years, with over 542,000 people claiming to follow a vegan diet Britain in 2016.
Waitrose reported strong sales in January, singling out the popularity of meat-free haggis on Burns Night where sales of vegan-friendly haggis jumped up by an impressive 36%.
Buyer Chloe Graves said: “Shoppers had a big appetite for Veganuary, with sales of some of our vegan ready-meals twice that of vegetarian dishes.
“We will be expanding our range of vegan products this year. We recently introduced a vegan course at our Kings Cross cookery school, which sold out.”
The UK’s largest supermarkert chain, Tesco, hired American chef and self-proclaimed “plant pusher” Derek Sarno – the former executive chef for Whole Foods Market – as its “director of plant-based innovation” to create its groundbreaking new Wicked Kitchen range (launched in January) which includes 20 vegan-friendly ready meals, wraps, sandwiches and salads.
“We’ve only just begun and over this next year, we’ll be developing foods and expanding the menu offering” Sarno said. “We’ll be keeping seasonal ingredients in mind and listening to customers’ wants and need.”
Whole Foods Market, which claims to be the UK’s largest retailer of vegan food, says that after its exclusive launch in September last year, the new Vegan Baileys Almande sold out in UK stores in less than two months.
Marks & Spencer’s
Similarly, Marks & Spencer’s version – a dairy-free Coconut and Chocolate Cream, was one of its most popular Christmas drinks ever. Launched last November, it sold out in less than four weeks and will return to the shelves this September.
The Co-op, who recently announced they would expanding their range of vegan wines to include 100 products by the end of 2018, said that despite dry January, sales of vegan wines outperformed the overall category with growth of more than 3% year on year.