Why should South African businesses care about Veganuary?
December 8, 2020
Veganuary encourages individuals from all over the globe to pledge vegan for the month of January. Simply register your email address online, and you will receive 31 days of plant-based recipes, meal plans, information on nutrition and much more. With over 1 million sign ups to date, Veganuary has directly influenced a boom in the plant-based market. This proves that the campaign is about much more than an individual decision to make dietary changes and offers an opportunity for businesses to respond to the growing demand for plant-based food.
What is Veganaury?
Since launching in the UK in 2014, Veganuary, a registered charity, has inspired and supported over 1 million people in 192 countries to try vegan for the month of January. While the majority of participants chose to eat a plant-based diet for health reasons, the impact of one million past participants eating a vegan diet for one month has incredible environmental benefits. The reduction of carbon footprint and water usage is equivalent to driving around the world 15,000 times and flushing the toilet almost half a million times, respectively.
An Accessible & Healthy New Year Resolution
January offers us an opportunity to set intentions for a healthier and more sustainable future. Veganuary’s 31-day plant-based campaign makes it easy to learn more about how to adopt a plant-based diet and the incredible benefits thereof.
The food industry has responded by increasing their offering of plant-based food, which contributes to the overall success of the campaign. 60% of surveyed participants responded that the challenge was easier than they had anticipated and 48% of those who decided to stay vegan say that this decision was influenced by the discovery of great tasting food.
Veganuary reaches “Big Food”
Research reveals how the UK plant-based market flourished during January 2020, with more than twice as many consumers buying one of the supermarkets’ explicitly labelled plant-based products in comparison to the festive season of December 2019. Kantar found that sales of meat substitutes such as soya mince or vegetarian burgers and sausages were 14% higher than January last year, while sales of lentils were up 6%, lettuce 10% and aubergine 14%.
With Veganuary shining a light on a vegan diet, thousands of businesses decided to support the movement with a total of over 650 new vegan product launches. Among them were more than 460 supermarket own-label vegan products as well as huge brand launches. Nine major UK retailers promoted veganuary and their plant-based launches in store with activation and signage focussed on their vegan ranges.
Over 550 new vegan many options were added to chain restaurants including KFC, Pizza Hut and Subway. KFC sold one million vegan burgers in the first month that they were on sale – equivalent to one being sold every three seconds since the launch on 2nd January. Quorn foods supplied KFC with their vegan products and experienced an unprecedented level of demand. The company was not even able to meet this surge in demand, despite its larger production facility that produces 1.33 million vegan products each week.
The WorkPlace Challenge
In 2020, 57 companies and institutions from the UK, US and Germany hopped on board, not only supporting their workforce to eat vegan in January, but in many cases, leading by example with CEOs and other senior team leaders taking part. Participants included PwC, Ernst & Young, Booking.com and Contiki Travel.
“This is the first time that Booking.com has taken on the Veganuary Workplace Challenge and it’s been great to see so much enthusiasm and interest throughout the company, reflecting the importance of sustainability and well-being for our employees and company as a whole.”
Bryan Batista, CEO, Booking.com, Travel Division
Veganuary makes waves in South Africa
Veganuary made an impressive entrance into South Africa in January 2020, with Pick n Pay actively promoting it’s plant-based range and highlighting the campaign in 700,000 leaflets as well as in store promotion nationwide. This effort resulted in South Africa being among the top ten countries in terms of Veganuary sign-ups.
Ahead of 2021, ProVeg South Africa joined the campaign as their official local partner and we have been encouraging as many people, companies, NGOs, media outlets and even government entities to help support the campaign. In January 2021, South Africans will witness top retailers and an increasing number of brands and restaurants actively supporting Veganaury with plant-based innovation.
Sign Up Now!
You don’t have to wait until the new year to learn more about a vegan diet. Choose your personal starting date when you enter your email address over here. If you are already eating a fully plant-based diet – there is still so much that you can learn from the Veganuary challenge! Discover new recipes, meal plans and helpful tips, such as where to get your nutrients and how to stock your cupboards.
The Veganuary email campaign was created in the UK. In order to keep up with Veganuary in South Africa, follow @provegza on Instagram. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know what South African retailers, restaurants and brands are up to!