This year has got off to a strong start with many companies investing in the vegan market, launching new products and expanding existing lines. Kantar Worldpanel have looked at the consumer trends over recent years and found an increase in the vegan and vegetarian sector.
Kantar Worldpanel Usage panel shows that consumers are increasingly choosing meat-free options for dinner, making the change to veganism less daunting. The biggest increase was during 2017, when an additional 200 million meat-free meals were eaten.
Richard Allen, a Usage expert at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “The surge in vegetarian evening meals over the past year is down to the wider availability of products which make eating meat-free more attractive and practical. Our ideas about what’s healthy are also changing – we’re more focused on foods that are natural and less processed and eating a varied diet. High profile celebrities and social media influencers are also raising awareness and promoting eating less or no meat as a healthy lifestyle choice.”
Vegan meals have drastically increased as a consumer favourite. There were 87 million more vegan meals eaten over the last year, compared to data from 2015. As a result, the dairy-free industry has seen a consistently steady increase in sales.
The report from Kantar Worldpanel says: “’Free-from’ milk and cheese are in double digit growth, and attracting new shoppers. Free from milk is up 10 per cent year on year, and dairy alternative cheese has grown an incredible 80 per cent over the same period, putting its value at £17.8m.”
Experts are putting the rise in meatless meals down to the accessibility that people have to meat-free options, and the health awareness surrounding diets that heavily include animal products.