How are Markets Responding to Vegan Demand?

Veganism has seen a real resurgence. The past decade has seen it become more popular than ever. Animal rights activism, improved health, or a more sustainable way of life; everyone has different reasons for adopting the diet.

The market has had no choice but to innovate their products. Suppliers are providing a much wider range of plant-based and meat-free options in order to stand up next to their competitors. But how is the market responding to ever-increasing demand?

How are Markets Responding to Vegan Demand?

...with most supermarkets now creating their own vegan products, we might be on the brink of change.

Riding the wave of consumer trends.

It’s estimated there are now around 600,000 vegans in the UK. In 2018, veganism was one of the biggest consumer trends of the year. The number of participants of ‘Veganuary’ (abstaining from animal products throughout January) gets exponentially larger each year, with 400,000 participants signing up globally in January 2020.

From local coffee shops to huge chains like McDonald's, businesses are reviewing their offering, and their marketing, to make their range inclusive of vegetarians and vegans. A fine example of this was Greggs releasing their vegan sausage roll to huge media attention. Whether people are taking part for a month or completely altering their lives for good, consumers want to know they can still experience their favourite foods. Businesses simply can’t afford to turn a blind eye on the vegan movement.

Making alternatives affordable.

One of the biggest hurdles faced by the vegan community is the expense. The cost of fresh, organic produce and meat and fish alternatives can quickly start to add up. To help those making a lifestyle change, there has been a significant increase in the amount of plant-based and vegan blogs and resources available. It’s never been easier to get advice on how to do veganism on a budget. However, with most supermarkets now creating their own vegan products, we might be on the brink of change.

Food engineers across the globe are constantly working to find out how to reduce the costs of creating these meat-free substitutes without losing the nutritional value. Large food retailers have realised the importance of making these products accessible to a wider audience instead of reserving them for an elite clientele.

Educating consumers.

These days, people want to be more in tune with where their food comes from. Plant-based or not, farmers, manufacturers and retailers have to give transparent information for their consumers. This is not only in terms of the ingredients making up the food they buy, but also the methods by which it’s been obtained - labour conditions, sustainability and animal welfare etc.

Those who can engage with their consumers through interactive experiences and suitable marketing will likely stay at the top of the game.

No matter where you stand on veganism, it’s undeniable that we’ve seen a huge cultural shift in the way we approach our food over the past decade. The entire food industry, from engineers to large retailers, will certainly continue pushing the boundaries when it comes to creating sustainable, nutritious alternatives to traditional farming.

Interested to see how Parable service the food sector? Read more here.

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