Veganuary taken up by rising number of people trying plant-based alternatives to meat
A record 500,000 people have signed up to the Veganuary challenge to eat only plant-based foods for a month. The milestone is double the number who pledged to go vegan for January in 2019.
A quarter of those taking up the challenge – 125,000 – are in the UK, and this year British supermarkets including Tesco have run television and radio adverts promoting Veganuary for the first time. Other supermarkets such as Aldi, Asda and Iceland have produced dedicated pages including information and recipes in 2021, again for the first time.
New research from the investment bank UBS on plant-based alternatives to meat, such as veggie burgers and sausages, shows a rising number of people are trying the new products. The proportion of people who have tried the alternatives rose from 48% to 53% between March and November 2020, according to UBS’s survey of 3,000 consumers in the UK, US and Germany. It also found that half of those who try plant-based alternatives to meat continue to eat them at least weekly.
Veganuary is a global campaign that has recently focused on Latin America, where 150,000 people have signed up this year, along with 80,000 in the US and 50,000 in Germany.
People give a number of reasons for choosing to cut the amount of animal foods in their diets, from reducing animal suffering, improving health or to lessen the environmental damage caused by food production. Many people in rich countries already eat more meat than is healthy, and scientists say cutting out meat is the single best way individuals can tackle the climate and wildlife crises.