- The UK meat-free market was worth £572m in 2017.
- Demand for meat-free food in the UK increased by 987% in 2017 and going vegan was predicted to be the biggest food trend in 2018.
- More than 7% of the UK population (3.5 million people) now identifies as vegan, and the number has surged by more than 700 per cent over the past two years.
With these figures, it makes sense that every food brand should be offering varied vegan options, right? Not just stuffed mushrooms and a bit of aubergine.
A small amount of brands have realised the huge market that is veganism, have innovated to be inclusive, and have reaped the benefits.
KFC for one, from 17/06/2019, are trialling ‘The Imposter’ burger, made in collaboration with Quorn, which is completely vegan and allows consumers to enjoy the KFC signature secret herbs and spices coating. In London, this burger sold out in the first day.
Another brand to mention, that went viral, was Greggs with their Vegan Sausage Roll.
5 months after it's launch, Gregg's vegan sausage roll is still making headlines. It got a large amount of media attention - notably from television personality Piers Morgan expressing his utter outrage, although he was met with a rather witty comment back from Greggs, only resulting in more publicity for their upcoming product.
Greggs said that introducing the vegan option had surged sales by over 9% in the first seven weeks of its launch. The firm also announced that sales had broken through £1bn for the first time.
The famous Wagamama Katsu Curry that sells over 10,000 dishes a day, has a vegan version that was launched last May. Wagamamas was then acquired at the end of 2018 for £559m by the Restaurant Group, which has seen sales rocket by 57% since.
Why aren’t more restaurants, fast food chains, and supermarkets, seeing the huge market where veganism is concerned?
The vegan and vegetarian market is expected to become a £5bn market by 2020.
That is only 7 months away.
These brands are being innovative, they are ahead of the game, they know what market to target.
It’s not only in the food industry. There are huge gaps in markets in every industry, that brands could target, but don’t. Brands are too scared to try anything new, and believe their consumers may hate them for even trying.
For example, over 50s hold over three-quarters of the nation's wealth, and the grey pound accounts for £320b of annual household spending. So why are brands consistently targeting millennials and gen zedders?
Be the Greggs of the food industry, innovate and be inclusive.