A new survey finds that nearly 3 million people in the U.K. will try to go vegan in 2019.
The poll, conducted by VoucherCodes, asked Brits what their New Year’s resolutions were. Results included saving money, exercising more, and eating healthy. A staggering number of people—2,662,900 to be exact—plan to go vegan this year. Brits are now almost as likely to go vegan as they are to give up alcohol for Dry January.
While this itself is reason to celebrate, we have more good news: Those nearly 3 million people will have an easy time going and staying vegan because the U.K. is officially a world leader for vegan food launches, according to market expert Mintel. Mintel’s analysts determined that the U.K., with its one in six food products carrying a vegan or no animal ingredients claim, has overtaken Germany in its former number one spot. That’s about 16 percent of all food launches in 2018, doubling from 8 percent in 2015!
Edward Bergen, global food and drinks analyst at Mintel, stated:
For a number of years Germany led the world for launches of vegan products. However, 2018 saw the U.K. take the helm. Germany has certainly plateaued, likely driven by a flooded market with little room to grow further. The U.K., by contrast, has seen a huge promotion of vegan restaurants and new ranges. The most poignant of these is the expansion of supermarket own-label ranges in mainstream stores, with dedicated vegan ranges. Additional space is also being freed up by U.K. supermarkets in the on-the-go aisles and small format stores, to help promote vegan options and make it easier for meat eating consumers to try these new concepts out.
Plant Based News and Mintel attribute the rise of vegans and of vegan products (respectively) to initiatives like Veganuary and Meatless Monday, which “allow consumers to flirt with veganism. About 300,000 people were expected to sign up to try Veganuary in 2019, triple its pledges from 2018.
Plant-based food options around the world have been skyrocketing. France saw a 24 percent increase in vegan and vegetarian product sales in 2018. Similarly, Australia saw a 92 percent increase in vegan food launches between 2014 and 2016.
Over the past decade, veganism has seen consistent growth as millennials—now the world’s largest generation—purchase their own food. Concerned about health, the environment, and animal welfare, this generation boasts more self-identified vegetarians than any other, according to The New York Times.
This shift to eating plants goes a long way toward reducing suffering. Globally, billions of animals are raised and killed for food each year. Cows, pigs, chickens, and fish raised and killed for food are subjected to unthinkable cruelties: tiny, filthy cages; horrific mutilations; torturous transport; and violent slaughter.
Thankfully, with the growing demand for plant-based options, this is the perfect time to switch to a compassionate vegan lifestyle.