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The number of vegans in the UK has risen more than four-fold over the past 10 years, according to the Vegan Society. More than half of British adults now ‘adopt vegan buying behaviour’, which is supported by a 185% increase in the number of vegan products launched in the UK between 2012 and 2016.

The ‘out of home’ eating sector is responding to the increase in vegan consumers. The international delivery service ‘Just Eat’ reported a 33% rise in the number of vegan options available through partner restaurants, coupled with a record number of vegan orders placed in 2017. The delivery service predicts veganism to be the “biggest food trend of the coming year”.

Why is veganism becoming so popular?
There are now over three and half times as many vegans as there were in 2006, a study commissioned by the Vegan Society in partnership with Vegan Life magazine has found. The study estimates 542,000 people in Britain are now following a vegan diet and never consume any animal products including meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and honey. This is a huge increase since the last survey more than a decade ago making veganism one of Britain’s fastest growing lifestyle movements.

The reason for this increase in vegan consumers, according to 1010 Data, a data insights company, is that people are becoming more mindful about what they put in their bodies and the environmental impact they have as individuals. Consumers are aspiring to live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle which can be supported by following a vegan diet.

The movement is being driven by young people making more ethical and compassionate choices.

42% of all vegans are in the 15-34 age category, compared to just 14% who are over 65. This indicates that veganism is likely to continue rising further in the future.

To meet this demand, meat-free product manufacturers are responding by investing in new product development and reaping the rewards. The meat-free product manufacturer, Quorn, reported a 12.5% of UK sales growth in 2017.

Veganuary, a charity campaign inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year, has been credited with boosting the number of vegans in the UK choosing to follow this lifestyle permanently.

Caterers looking for inspiration for their vegan options, can find advice and tasty recipes on the Veganuary website.

Maximise on the trend!
Including vegan options on your menus is a wise business move as you are not excluding potential customers.

This can be simply done by offering more variety of vegetable dishes and creating interesting dishes without having to invest in highly priced alternatives.

Adding pulses to salads or using salad leaves as a wrap, courgetti noodles and desserts made from soy milk are just a few easy suggestions.

If you want to succeed in meeting vegan needs you also have to educate your staff about what vegans can and can’t eat, and which options on your menu are vegan suitable or can easily be adapted.

If you need help creating a vegan menu or sourcing suitable products, please get in touch – our company dietitian and procurement team will help you.
Call us on 01252 705200 or email

Anna-Maria Holt

Company Dietitian and Health & Wellbeing Lead at Pelican Procurement Services

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