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Veganuary: trend or movement

vegan food

Vegans have a lot to celebrate already this year and we’re not even half way through January. From Happy Meals to sausage rolls, several big-name chains are rolling out vegan options this Veganuary. 300,000 people are partaking in Veganuary this year, a massive increase from the 3,300 who took part in 2014 when the trend was first introduced.

McDonald’s launched its first vegan Happy Meal and spicy vegan wrap this week after a poll revealed that 33% of their customers wanted to see more meat-free options on their menus. The Happy Meal - a split-pea goujon wrap - tastes just like chicken and was chosen by children themselves which should make life easier for conscious parents.

Pizza Hut have launched a new vegan pizza for Veganuary, teaming up with Violife, vegan cheese brand to create their BBQ Jackfruit pizza. The chain has said they will add it to their permanent menu if they reach their sales target of 10,000. They are also running an #IWantYouJack competition on social media in which guests have a chance to win a £100 gift card.

With their infamous sausage rolls, it was important for Greggs to get a vegan version right. Greggs claim to have been experimenting with vegan sausage rolls for a long time following strong consumer demand, including a PETA petition last year which was signed by more than 20,000 people. Since the launch, many Greggs stores have sold out of the new product resulting in many disappointed customers. Greggs even put ‘sold out’ signs up in their store windows to save customers queuing up for a taste. After a couple of failed attempts, some of the team at HGEM finally managed to get their hands on some this week. HGEM’s Becka and Michaela gave us their verdict…

Vegetarian Becka said ‘It tastes exactly like sausage to me’. Meat-eating Michaela verified that it does in fact taste just like a regular sausage roll - great news for us all. Becka said ‘The pastry is good too, still somehow buttery despite the lack of butter. I’m a big fan. It’s also really nice to see a company like Greggs listening to the petition and paying attention to what its customers are asking for, and I’m pleased they took the time to get it exactly right’.

Veganism is certainly a movement set to grow with Veganuary being the trend to set guests on their new conscious path. Operators are being forced to expand their offering, something we think we will continue to see year on year.

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