Demand for animal products is on a downward trend, with more brits than ever looking to either reduce their meat consumption or adopt a completely meat-free lifestyle.
According to research conducted by Finder, 2021 will see the largest recruitment in ‘meat-free’ diets. It’s estimated that by the end of 2021, 11 million brits (26%) will be following a meat-free diet, with veganism accounting for 7% of that, an increase of 132% in 2020.
In addition, Applewood found that 20% of brits this year would be eating an entirely vegan Christmas dinner, with Tesco also revealing that veggie mains were more popular than beef and lamb this Christmas – indicating this tectonic shift in the UK food landscape.
With such strong evidence that the previously overlooked veganism movement is becoming ‘mainstream’, and this month being Veganuary, diversifying your menu to cater to vegans is seemingly a no brainer.
But what is Veganuary and how can your coffee shop support the movement?
What is Veganuary?
Veganuary was launched in the UK back in 2014, with the aim of encouraging consumers to commit to eating vegan for January, and hopefully beyond. The organisations mission is to inspire and support people to try vegan, drive corporate change, and create a global mass movement championing compassionate food choices with the aim of ending animal farming, protecting the planet, and ultimately improving human health.
Veganuary is a growing trend. More than 250,000 people from 159 countries took part in Veganuary 2019 by signing up and taking the pledge, an increase of 49% vs 2018. In 2020, this increase was even more prolific, with a record breaking 400,000 participants taking the pledge in Veganuary, with this number set to rise even further this January.
How your coffee shop can support Veganuary
With the popularity of meat-free lifestyles on the rise in the UK, it’s important that your coffee shop capitalises on this growing market. According to the vegan society, the UK Vegan market is currently valued at £1.8bn and is forecasted to grow at 8% YOY. With our tips below, your coffee shop can get involved in positive change whilst improving its bottom line.
It’s important that your menu has a healthy variety of vegan options to choose from. Due to its popularity now, vegans have become accustomed to greater inclusion. Whilst it may seem daunting to create vegan options, especially if you’ve only just heard about it, it’s actually a simple process. The best place to start is your existing menu. Which items of your current offering can be easily veganised? You’ll likely be surprised by how many! Meat can be easily substituted for legumes or mushrooms, whilst there are a wide variety of dairy-free milks to choose from. Just show your newly vegan customers that you’re making an effort!
Supporting Veganuary can be as simple as stocking a variety of plant-based milks to give customers the freedom of choice to alter your coffees. There are around 20 plant-based milks to choose from. However, the popular sellers are oat, coconut, almond, and soy. To find out more about vegan milks, read our blog on the best dairy-free alternative milks to use in your coffee.
It’s important to note that clear labelling is key in the promotion of your new vegan offers. Those who have undertaken the Veganuary pledge may find it difficult to differentiate between vegan and non-vegan products. Make the process easy for them by clearly labelling your vegan-friendly offers.
For Veganuary, your coffee shop or cafe should be embracing social media in order to get the word out. Offering vegan food is no good if nobody knows you're offering it! Make sure to update your followers throughout the week on new and exciting vegan options and consider putting some posts together that spread awareness about Veganuary's mission.
How Veganuary can benefit your business
Becoming more inclusive - By ensuring your business offers a number of options for meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans alike, you can be sure that there is an option on your menu for everyone. This is crucial as it means your menu won’t be alienating a prominent segment of society, increasing your potential customer base.
Remain relevant - Competition is stronger than ever, with almost every town and city having a large coffee chain, your independent coffee shop has to keep up with current market trends. With veganism on the rise in the UK, more and more businesses will be looking to expand their offering. If you don’t currently accommodate vegans and fail to do so quick enough, you can be sure that a portion of your customers will begin buying their coffees somewhere else.