Nov 1, 2019
Sales of vegan products including fashion, beauty surge with UK consumers fuelling the rise
Nov 1, 2019
From fashion to beauty, the market for products using no animal products is surging, with climate-conscious consumers in Britain fuelling the global dash to cash in on a fast-expanding range of ethical merchandise.
With the 25th annual World Vegan Month starting on Nov. 1, Britain has overtaken Germany to become the nation with the highest number of new vegan food products launched in a year, according to market research firm Mintel.
About 16% of food products launched in 2018 had a vegan claim, up from 8% in 2015, with the sector growing about 30 percent in the year to 740 million pounds ($955 million), the firm said. No earlier figures were available.
While vegan food sales were surging, no data was available to track sales of other vegan products, ranging from kilts to lipstick, as celebrities fanned the trend.
U.S. musician Lady Gaga launched a vegan make-up range this year and Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton helping to open a meat-free burger chain.
The surge in demand comes as more consumers take note of data from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) showing livestock produce 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions globally and cause large-scale deforestation.
Emma Clifford, associate director of food and drink at Mintel, said the boom was being driven by a change in consumer mindset and an explosion of exciting, new vegan products in a sector once seen as “bland, very uninspiring”.
“I don’t think anyone expected the vegan market to explode the way it has,” Clifford told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“We’re expecting the growth that we currently see in meat-free foods to carry on over the next five years ... We think the trend has got a lot of longevity.”
In terms of food, products like vegan haggis and vegan burgers that bleed like meat, have injected “an exciting, foodie element into this category”, said Clifford.
But other industries have also taken up the vegan trend with Mintel predicting an uptick this year in fashion retailers releasing vegan shoe collections.
Brands including Adidas and Steve Madden have launched vegan lines while Britain’s Dr. Martens - made famous by punk music fans - stomped into the market with a vegan boot.
One of the biggest names in British retail, Marks & Spencer Group Plc, expanded its range of vegan clothing and accessories this spring to keep up with consumer demand.
The first Vegan Fashion Week ran in Los Angeles in February.
Cosmetic companies have joined the bandwagon with supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, British health and beauty retailer Superdrug, and Swedish fashion retailer H&M offering vegan lines.
“We’ve seen brands and supermarkets fully embrace this trend,” Clifford said.
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