UK dominates global vegan market

Plant powered winter bowl
11/01/2019 - 09:56
The UK launched the most new vegan foods worldwide in 2018, Mintel data has revealed, highlighting the ever-increasing popularity of meat-free diets among Brits.

According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), the UK overtook Germany as the ‘world leader’ for vegan food launches, claiming the country now dominates global vegan new product development.

Underlining this, 16% of all food products launched in the UK last year bore a vegan/ no animal ingredients claim, double the 8% in 2015.

This will be welcoming news for consumers, as more and more embrace a reduced/ no meat diet - 34% of meat eaters lowered their consumption in the six months to July 2018 (u from 28% in 2017) and a further 31% admitted that recent news articles make a ‘convincing argument’ for giving up meat.

That said, 39% of British diners still believe vegan meals are ‘boring’ and 41% that they are overpriced. 9% would however like to see more vegan items on menus.

Global food and drinks analyst at Mintel, Edward Bergen, commented: “For a number of years Germany led the world for launches of vegan products.

“However, 2018 saw the UK take the helm. Germany has certainly plateaued, likely driven by a flooded market with little room to grow further.

“The UK by contrast has seen a huge promotion of vegan choices in restaurants and supermarkets. The most poignant of these is the expansion of supermarket own-label options with dedicated vegan ranges in mainstream stores.

“Additional space is also being freed up by UK supermarkets in the on-the-go aisles and small format stores to help promote vegan food and drink, making it easier for meat-eating consumers to try these new concepts out.   

“Meanwhile, initiatives like ‘Veganuary’ and ‘meat-less Monday’ allow consumers to flirt with veganism without the long-term commitment. As more people reduce their meat intake, they experiment with more plant-based dishes catering for their flexitarian lifestyles - whether at home, on-the-go or in restaurants.

“Moreover, consumers are becoming more willing than ever to expand their comfort zones, push themselves to the limit with new experiences and use social media to compete with and offer inspiration to their peers.”

Plant-based specialist, Alpro, has launched a number of recipes, to help consumers tap into the trend in an accessible and affordable way.

Alpro’s plant powered winter bowl (serves 2)


  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. garlic granules
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 handfuls of rocket
  • 1 pouch of steamed brown rice
  • 6 falafels
  • 1 roasted pepper (from a jar cut into strips)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 10 baby carrots peeled
  • A handful of green or black olives
  • 2 heaped tbsp. Alpro plain unsweetened Big Pot
  • 1 tsp. Harissa paste
  • 2 wedges of lemon


  • Preheat oven to 180
  • Drain the chickpeas and pat dry with kitchen towel. Place in a bowl and add the cumin, garlic granules, olive oil - season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well and roast in the oven on a flat baking tray for 20 minutes or until slightly crispy
  • Cook the rice as per the packet instructions, divide into two bowls
  • Top bowls with falafel, sliced avocado, red pepper, red onion, rocket, olives and baby carrots
  • Spoon the Alpro plain unsweetened Big Pot into the middle and top each bowl with a little of the harissa (marbling this into the dressing)
  • Sprinkle over the chickpeas and serve

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