Veganuary started in the UK and now over ten countries are joining this campaign to encourage people to try going vegan in January. Big names like McDonald’s, KFC and Starbucks are maximising on this opportunity launching new vegan options on their menus.


Photo: Veganuary 2021 campaign in review

What does this mean for the food and drink industry?

With plant-based food set to become mainstream, brands have a great opportunity to tap into this market and grow with consumer demand for healthier products.

In 2021 there were over 400 new vegan product launches for Veganuary in the UK alone. M&S sold one of its new ‘No Salt Beef Pretzel Roll’ every 30 seconds and its Plant Kitchen Vegan Chocolate Cookie was its most popular single cookie.

The Veganuary 2021 campaign report stated that vegan restaurants order volume increased by 146% and vegan options from other restaurants by 114% year-on-year. New customers buying vegan increased by 163% year-on-year.

M&S Plant Based Range

Photo: M&S

According to Mintel, a quarter of UK adults have consumed plant-based milk in the past three months, switching from dairy milks to plant-based because of their better environmental credentials, above taste and price.

Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact of their choices on the environment, and this is being taken into consideration when they are shopping.

Brands need not only highlight the environmental benefits of plant-based alternatives, but also ensure their products are as sustainable as possible, from using local ingredients and short supply chains.

Innovation opportunities

With more and more consumers embracing the vegan diet, taste and texture are key elements for brands to win over these new consumers.

Natural flavours that can recreate the original taste are essential for those people who are transitioning to a plant-based diet.

In recent years, innovation in meat substitutes has focused on red and white meat alternatives. However, innovation in plant-based seafood has accelerated recently and we can now see more of these options on the market.

Health in focus

A survey of 5,000 consumers in ten European countries by food innovation initiative EIT Food revealed the long-term impact of COVID’s on shopper behaviour. Many of the consumers agree that while affordability is important, it should not come at the expense of health and good nutrition.

Plant Based Food

The plant-based diet has been seen as a natural and nutritious option for maintaining health, due to increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, grains and meat and milk substitutes. These foods are linked to many health benefits such as a lower risk of cancer and coronary heart disease.

According to Mintel Global Consumers Trend 2022 report, consumers will be looking for clear and reliable guidance that a product will meet their ingredient preferences, moral values and/or health priorities. Their needs for protection will increase the demand for products that help both short- and long-term health goals.

What can we do for your business?

Here at Lionel Hitchen, we are committed to providing the highest quality natural flavours to meet consumer demand and new trends.

We offer a range of natural flavours suitable for vegetarians and vegans that can be used in different applications such as drinks, bakery, confectionery and plant-based products.

We are proud of all our products, specially the Non-Dairy range which replicate that rich, dairy characteristic taste into products.

Lionel Hitchen is a transparent company that values and cares about the environment. We are continually monitoring our waste to reduce waste, divert from landfill and increasingly utilise recycling facilities.

We run energy reduction programmes through investment in new technology and operational improvements.

If you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mintel – Nutrition watch: plant-based food and drink in APAC
Mintel – What the 2022 Consumer Trends mean for food and drink
Mintel – A year of innovation in plant-based drinks, yogurt & ice cream, 2021
Thefoodpeole – healthwatching January 2022
Veganuary – End of Campaign Report 2021
Published On: January 20th, 2022Categories: Food Trends

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