UK supermarkets report surge in sales of vegan food.

 

UK supermarkets report surge in sales of vegan food

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/feb/02/uk-supermarkets-report-surge-in-sales-of-vegan-food?CMP=share_btn_tw 

Half of UK adults adopting ‘vegan-buying behaviour’ as number of full-time vegans grows four-fold in 10 years

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.

Waitrose reported strong sales in January, singling out the popularity of meat-free haggis for traditional Burns Night. Sales of vegan-friendly haggis jumped 36%, while a gluten-free variety enjoyed a 151% uplift compared with last year.

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 retailer, Tesco, hired the 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 spearhead its new Wicked Kitchen range (launched earlier this month) 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.”

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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 Irish Cream (called Baileys Almande and made with almond milk) sold out in UK stores in less than two months.

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 – acknowledged for its clear labelling of vegan-friendly wines – said that despite dry January, sales of vegan wines outperformed the overall category with growth of more than 3% year on year.

Online shoppers flocked to Ocado, according to buying manager Jacques Thudichum, who said: “The vegan trend really made its mark in January. This is in part due to the fact that we added more than 90 new products to our dedicated vegan webshop in January, including dairy-free egg replacer and nutritional yeast.”

Restaurant menus are also getting a vegan makeover. One of London’s longest-established Michelin-starred restaurants, Pied à Terre, has had a strong vegetarian offering for more than 20 years but recently launched a seven-course vegan tasting menu which it says is as popular with carnivorous customers as vegetarians and strict vegans. Founder David Moore said: “I firmly believe that plant-based eating is not a trend, it’s a real thing and we are only seeing the very thin edge of what will be a game-changing wedge.”

The Aubaine chain is bolstering its vegan offering after serving a Veganuary menu for the first time this year, and where Instagram-friendly colourful dishes such as beetroot and apple tartare sparked huge interest on social media. Spokeswoman Lucy Hancock said: “We received such positive feedback in our restaurants and online that we are extending the vegan set menu until the end of February. Following this, our plant-based dishes will be on our new spring a la carte menu, and will then be a permanent feature.”

The Pizza Express and Pizza Hut chains both offer pizzas using vegan-friendly cheese, but Goodfella’s is boasting of the UK’s first frozen vegan pizza. Its stonebaked pizza with falafel, red peppers and spinach will be stocked in supermarket freezers from March.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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