World’s most popular vegan challenge kicks off in South Africa


Kauai and ProVeg South Africa teamed up to launch Veganuary 2023 in Mzansi

If you have been toying with the idea of trying a vegan diet, whether it is for your health or the planet, then January is the month to do it.

Local health food chain Kauai and food awareness organisation ProVeg South Africa hosted the official launch of the 2023 Veganuary challenge at the Kauai Sea Point branch this past Friday.

Every year since 2014, people worldwide have been taking on the Veganuary challenge and adopting a vegan lifestyle for January. The environmental and health impact of a challenge like this has been measured and celebrated and once again campaigns around the world are planning for an even bigger Veganuary 2023. ProVeg South Africa has been the official local partner for Veganuary for the past two years.

In 2022, Proveg South Africa ranked Kauai as the most plant-based friendly fast-food restaurant chain in South Africa out of the 23 most prominent Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) in their Plant-Based Friendly Fast Food Ranking report. Their common goals bloomed into a partnership to launch Veganuary 2023 together.“What ProVeg South Africa and Veganuary are trying to do is to give people information about how food is affecting your health, planetary health, and what is happening to animals in factory farms,” said Donovan Will, Director of ProVeg South Africa.

“What Kauai is doing, is they are making it very easy and tasty to make that switch to living plant-based. It is no longer the case that if you want to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, you just have to eat salads, which is terrible. Plant-based food is delicious and available almost everywhere. It is very exciting for us to have partners like Kauai onboard.”

Over the last five years, Kauai has recognised the growing demand for Vegan offerings for people who live a vegan lifestyle or for people trying to increase plant-based foods in their diets.

“The Kauai menu has always been plant-rich and customisable for all dietary preferences but with this growing demand, we have expanded our offering to introduce even more delicious meal options” said Glenda Philp, Project Lead – Strategic and Special Projects at Real Foods Group.

“For the last 27 years, Kauai has been making healthy, natural, delicious food accessible to more and more South Africans. Healthy nutritious food is in Kauai’s DNA. Our journey includes educating consumers that it’s really easy to eat more plants. We are very proud to say that more than 80% of our menu can be customised to be plant-based.”

Toni McCann, a professional mountain trail runner, was also in attendance. Along with Kauai, McCann hosts fortnightly trail running events, called Trail Taxi, for children who would not otherwise have access to trail running.

Philp also thanked three Stormers rugby players, Nama Xaba, Mnombo Zwelendaba, and Keke Morabe for joining in the evening’s event. Kauai is the official nutritional sponsor of the DHL Stormers.

Continuing the strong focus on the health benefits of a plant-based diet, Dr Nanine Wyma from the Physicians Association for Nutrition (PAN) South Africa spoke about their organisation’s work in bettering nutrition education among healthcare students (including medical, dietetic, and nursing students), as well as a recent study they conducted in partnership with the Ubuntu Wellness Centre which was featured on the world stage at the 27th United Nations Climate Conference (COP) in Egypt last month.

The study focused on South Africa’s first-ever diabetes reversal challenge using plant-based nutrition just in time to commemorate World Diabetes Day. With 1 in 9 adults living with diabetes, South Africa has the highest diabetes prevalence in Africa. This presentation formed part of the first Food4Climate Pavilion at COP dedicated to the plight to transform global food systems.

Dr Wyma presented the findings to an international audience in the hope that this study will aid in placing the spotlight on how Africa will respond to the challenges associated with a warming planet.

What is Veganuary?

Veganuary is an annual challenge run by a UK nonprofit organisation that promotes and educates about veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. Since the event began in 2014, more than 1 million people have taken part in Veganuary, with more than 629 000 people signing up during 2022.

Those who sign up will receive an email every day of January with all the support you need to make trying vegan easy:

  • Daily hints and tips
  • Meal plans and recipes
  • Information about the benefits of a vegan diet for health, animals, and the planet


How to sign up for Veganuary?

Click the button below or use this link to sign up for the Veganuary challenge and kick-start the new year with a healthy bang:


Notes to Editors

Download photos of the event here: (Please credit: Amar Metha)

For media inquiries about ProVeg South Africa, email Arleen Nel at [email protected]

For media inquiries about Kauai, email Stephanie Cruywagen at [email protected]

For more information about PAN South Africa and the research mentioned, contact Dr Nanine Wyma at [email protected]


About ProVeg South Africa:

ProVeg South Africa is the local branch of ProVeg International. ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.

ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.

ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited with UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.