Current Vegan Market Share
Volume sales have grown by over 22% from 2013 with value growth of 34% meaning the meat-free market is worth £740 million in the UK. Between 2006 and 2016, the UK saw a 350% in veganism behaviour with a 185% increase in vegan products on shelves and menus.
Current Vegan Offering
Supermarkets and restaurants are making strong efforts to tap into this market. In fact, vegan claims have grown on own label products as well as branded ones signalling supermarkets interest in capitalising on this trend which is extending far beyond the limited pool of a vegan audience.
Waitrose was the first UK supermarket to add a section solely dedicated to vegan foods on their website. This includes a selection of ready meals and meat substitutes.
Sainsbury’s continues to expand its own label vegan and vegetarian products which were launched in June 2018. According to Sainsbury’s these have grown rapidly with estimation of 20% growth per week.
Quorn is the leading brand in the vegan market. However, new brands are constantly diversifying their products to enter into this growing market with a 1% YOY increase ( Mintel, 2018).
The Consumer Market
Nevertheless, despite a growing vegan market, 90% of UK consumers still eat meat. However, as consumers increasingly look for products that are better for them, 34% of consumers have limited or reduced the amount of red meat and poultry they eat.
Motivations for becoming vegan include ethical, environmental and health considerations. However, there is no concrete evidence on what the true motivations of being vegan are.
The main target audience is those under 35 with a higher index in under 25-year-olds. University students are key vegan players as they may be unable to afford meat and want the freedom of trying new cuisines.
One way in which consumers research the vegan lifestyle is through social media. Every Tuesday evening, vegans will unite and share their knowledge about the latest recipes and product reviews
Issues With Veganism
Veganism does seem to answer the majority of environmental and economic worries however, there are a few areas of concern for those who are thinking about adopting this lifestyle.
Adopting a vegan lifestyle means less saturated fat in the body, more dietary fibre, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure. However, vegans can still find it difficult to get certain nutrients into their body. This means that some will rely on vitamins and supplements to make up their difference.
As supermarkets start to invade the market with a heightened NPD Vegan focus, consumers are questioning whether they are getting value for their money. An example of this is from M & S Cauliflower Steak which received backlash across Social Media which shortly after got delisted.
At GCL, we work hard at delivering market insight driven products that will meet your end consumer. Please feel free to get in touch to receive a sample of our vegan offering.