Has Veganuary Affected Retailers?

It’s that time of year again! Yes, we know that every month seems to have a theme now, but Veganuary is one we can really get behind. Because like it or not, this trend is here to stay. Veganism as a movement is on the rise, and over the last decade, the number of vegans in the UK and around the world has exploded. This means more and more people expecting vegan options to be widely available, and more pressure on retailers to provide those options. In 2014 Veganuary was born, challenging non-vegans to eat vegan just for the month of January. Over the years it’s grown in popularity, which has led many retailers to wonder what the impact will be on their sales during this month?

What Is Veganuary?

Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that encourages people worldwide to try vegan for January, with the hope that they stay vegan beyond it. The founders were inspired by the success of ‘Movember’, and wanted to find a way to create the same buzz around veganism for non-vegans. Each year millions of people sign up for their one-month vegan pledge, and thanks to their corporate outreach work over 1,610 new vegan products have been launched in their key campaign countries. Now Veganuary happens every year and is contributing to the growth of the vegan lifestyle.


Fizz Experience running sampling for Gosh! vegan products in costco

Fizz Experience running sampling for Gosh! vegan products in costco

What Does The Rise In Veganism Mean For Retailers?

According to research, half of the UK population are cutting down or cutting out meat, with younger adults the biggest age group adopting the lifestyle. To put that in perspective, that’s around 11 million consumers in the UK that don’t eat meat, and a further 10 million reducing consumption.

That’s led to a huge increase in demand for plant-based and vegan foods. As of 2021, the global vegan food market was worth close to $16 billion, and it’s expected to keep growing, with the UK holding the top spot for vegan product launches.

Understandably, this is a very positive thing for retailers. If they can expand their range of vegan foods and plant-based products, paired with timely vegan promotions (like Veganuary), in theory they could expect a rise in sales to go with it.

What Do The Figures Say?

The big worry for retailers is that Veganuary would reduce sales, especially in the valuable meat and dairy categories. So much so that many studies have been done into Veganuary and the effect it can have on retail sales. We won’t bore you with all of them, but there is one we want to draw your attention to.

Last year the University of Surrey conducted a study of supermarket sales during the ‘Veganuary’ period. They carefully monitored sales of plant-based and meat products in January 2021, and compared them to sales before and after the Veganuary campaign periods in November 2020, and February and March 2021. Their findings were very interesting. They saw that the average weekly sales of plant-based foods increased significantly (by 57%), the sale of meat products was unaffected. There was no reciprocal drop, which means that while more people are buying plant-based products, it isn’t causing fewer people to buy meat products.

This isn’t great news for the folks at Veganuary, but it’s good news for retailers around the country. It means that not only are they not experiencing a sales dip in meat and dairy products, but they are seeing an increase in sales thanks to the boost of Veganuary.

meat free alternative in shopping trolley

Shicken in store food sampling

How Can Retailers Capitalise On Veganuary?

Over the last few years Britain’s supermarkets have been slowly adapting to the rise in veganism, looking for ways to make the most of the growing demand. Many have launched their own ranges of vegan food, including Sainsburys’, M&S, Co-op, Aldi and even Greggs. All of which have undoubtedly sent their sales soaring. But what else can they do?

Well, food sampling is a great way to get involved in the Veganuary hype and really capitalise on it. There is still a misconception out in the world that vegan foods are not as flavoursome as animal-based products. Veganism has come a long way since it first started and there is so much more variety and flavour that many meat-lovers often can’t tell the difference! In-store sampling allows consumers to try these vegan foods without the risk of buying it for themselves. Serving vegan samples is a great way to expose people to meat and dairy alternatives, and make sure you get a slice of the sales boost Veganuary is bringing. So, why not use this opportunity to serve out some plant-based meats, vegan cheeses and non-dairy milks.

At Fizz, this is one of the things we can help you with. Because we have so much experience in the industry, we can help you plan out the perfect strategy for in-store sampling and improve your chances of success. Giving people vegan food to try during these key months is a great way to introduce them to the vegan lifestyle, increase their basket spend on vegan options, and improve your brand image in the market in one go. If you’d like to know more about capitalising on the Veganuary buzz, just get in touch with the team today.