Veganuary set to pass 2m milestone as more firms join movement
A record number of people are expected to try to eat only plant-based foods this month as growing concern about the climate crisis heightens interest in the Veganuary movement. (via TheGuardian)
Harrods, Superdrug and Volkswagen among employers taking part in workplace challenge for first time
The global campaign is gathering momentum as more large employers promote it internally. This year, Harrods, Superdrug and Volkswagen UK are among the big names taking part in the Veganuary “workplace challenge” for the first time.
The corporate push involves making more vegan food available at work as well as running education and morale-boosting events to help participants keep going throughout the month.
More than 500,000 people signed up to take part in last year’s Veganuary, about a quarter of whom – 125,000 – were based in the UK. However, the campaign’s research suggests that potentially 10 times as many people participate and a significant number continue with plant-based diets beyond the end of the month.
By the end of January, Veganuary expects to have reached the milestone of 2 million participants since its launch in 2014. It passed 1 million sign-ups in October 2020.
A YouGov poll of 2,079 UK adults for Veganuary found 4% planned to participate. Extrapolated to all UK adults, that would equate to 2.7 million people. The survey found that attitudes towards veganism had become more positive over the past two years, with 36% describing it as an “admirable thing to do”.
Veganuary’s Toni Vernelli said that 20 years ago if people said they were vegan, others would think it was a “weird thing to do” or “quite extreme”. “Now the first thing people say is ‘oh, I’m really cutting back on my meat and dairy consumption,’ and nine times out of 10 the reason is the environment.”
At the same time, going vegan is not the food-eliminating challenge it once was. There has been a gold rush in the food industry with investors pouring billions into alt-meat and dairy brands, a trend that has resulted in thousands of new products including high-profile innovations such as plant-based bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk.
With more than 50,000 products certified by the Vegan Society, there has been no let-up before the 2022 campaign, with a welter of treats arriving on supermarket shelves and menus in the coming days.
A number of the most anticipated launches can be found in the cheese aisle. A vegan Babybel, made out of coconut oil and starch and wrapped in green rather than the brand’s trademark red wax, will make its debut. An almond- and oat-based Philadelphia spread is also coming.