In 2020 a record 400,000 people signed up to the Veganuary campaign, that’s up from around 250,000 in 2019 and doesn’t even take in to account the thousands of people who just gave it a go last month.
Whether it’s for health, animal welfare or climate reasons, lots of people are cutting out meat and animal products and taking up a vegan lifestyle.
A study last year revealed that 1 in 4 new food products released in 2019 was labelled vegan, so, It’s undeniably big business and right up there with one of the most topical and relevant things of our generation. But with a crowded space, who were the winners and losers this ‘Veganuary’?
Greggs X Vegan
The undisputable winners of Veganuary 2019 were Greggs with the launch of its vegan sausage roll, and the pasty kings have been at it again, this time it’s the steak bake that’s had a vegan make over.
After taking the proverbial out of a certain smart phone maker with the launch of the meat free sausage roll, this time Greggs went after everyone by claiming to have the “hottest new collab on the market”.
Greggs announced the vegan steak bake with an edgy Greggs X Vegan marketing video on social media;
The time has come. pic.twitter.com/AUP82hPcBj
— Greggs (@GreggsOfficial) January 2, 2020
Safe to say it blew up again, coverage received in pretty much every national newspaper, all over broadcast media and reports of it selling out everywhere in its first week on sale. Greggs nailed it again.
Which Greggs classic would you like to see have the vegan make over? Vegan Festive Bake anyone?
Subway’s Meatless Marinara
Subway were so convinced that you couldn’t tell the different between its new meat free marinara and the original that it put this theory to the test. The sandwich makers invited a number of influencers and unsuspecting members of the general public, who all followed a plant-based diet to try the new sandwich, with one clever twist;
They also took the sandwich to Kirkgate Market in Leeds to trial the new meatless marinara on unsuspecting meat eaters, and it went down a storm!
80% of meat-eaters think a meatless meal won’t be as tasty… yeah right! We put our new Meatless Meatball Marinara to the test, to prove it's equally as delicious as the original! #YourWay #MIWYW
— Subway® UK (@SubwayUK) January 29, 2020
Again, widespread national coverage received and glowing reports of the new addition to the menu – a definite win for Subway.
Here’s a question, how did KFC leave several vegans feeling “sick” and “heartbroken”?
It served them real chicken, that’s how!
While the launch of a new vegan KFC burger, with that delicious blend of 11 herbs and spices, had everyone jumping for joy in 2020, the mishap somewhat overshadowed the launch.
Feedback has been mixed with people calling it “dry” and “bland”, and most of the coverage has been focused on that calamity with the real chicken.
Ah, what could have been.
Rebel Whopper, not suitable for vegans…
Another fast food chain that missed the mark somewhat with its Veganuary marketing, was Burger King.
The launch of the plant-based Rebel Whopper in January, was immediately met with confusion from vegans and vegetarians, as the burger is cooked on the same grill as the beef patties and includes mayonnaise.
The company tried to claim they didn’t mean for it to be vegan anyway, in a classic response akin to a child who isn’t allowed to play with their favourite toy, and confidently exclaims they’re not bothered and didn’t want it anyway!
An opportunity missed we feel, although, apparently, it’s for Flexitarians who want to cut down on their meat consumption, and definitely not an oversight in the planning.
You can make it vegan however, as they company will happily microwave the patty and leave off the mayonnaise for you…mmm delicious!
Here’s a quick list of other companies to release vegan products in 2020;
Costa, Frankie & Benny’s, Papa John’s, Caffe Nero, Pizza Hut, Pho, Co-op, Aldi, Asda, Oumph!, Chicago Town, Heck and Kettle Chips – they’ll be no room on the bandwagon soon!