Going Vegan: How British brands are capitalising on veganism

September 26, 2019

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2 min read

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What's going on here?

Vegan products are transforming British brands with more companies looking into vegan products and meat-free alternative for consumers.

What does this mean?

A number of businesses have noticed the growing interest in veganism and used it to their advantage. A prominent example of this is Greggs. Greggs’ profits have benefited enormously after the launch of the vegan sausage roll; their profits amounted to £40.6m in the first half of 2019, a whopping 50% increase. Indeed, there were queues forming at Greggs branches throughout the country and the Quorn factory that makes the filling went into overdrive.

The vegan sausage roll is now one of Greggs’ five bestsellers and Greggs recently revealed it is working on a vegan version of its other best-selling products. Not only is veganism great for business but it also serves as a great marketing tool, as it can reinvigorate classic products.

What's the big picture effect?

An increasing number of consumers are now choosing to dabble in veganism, or at least minimise their meat intake, these days, whether it be for financial, ethical or environmental purposes. By making a vegan version of a best-selling product, companies not only widen their potential clients but it also has positive effects on social media as consumers will be likely to praise the change.This in turn creates free marketing which in turn boosts profits. A prime example of this is the celebrity endorsements of Doc Martens by Jessica Alba and Gigi Hadid, who have praised the brand for selling vegan boots.

It is not only Greggs that have profited from going vegan, numerous other businesses have adopted a similar approach. The restaurant chain Leon reported that its sales for 2018 were up 24.5% to £95m. This is likely a consequence of offering “jack wings” that replaced fried chicken and “beetroot- based love burgers”. Sales also revealed that in January 2019, 64% of its sales were vegetarian and 55% were vegan. Further, Papa John’s vegan hotdog pizza outsold its meat version for the first three weeks when it was launched.

If companies want to grow they must look capitalise on trends and the most prominent trend at the moment seems to be veganism. However, there is a danger that companies will use veganism insincerely and purely for profit, which may damage consumer trust. Having said this, whether companies turn to veganism simply for profit or to help make lasting changes, the increased availability of vegan products is surely a welcome consequence.

Report written by Maab Saifeldin

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