Veganuary is in full swing and, although none of us here at Souter PR are amongst the 14% of all Brits taking part in the plant-based challenge, we absolutely love foodie innovation and all the new launches hit shelves, menus – and headlines – this year.
And we’ve been spoilt for choice. Almost a quarter of all new UK food products launched last year were vegan – meeting demand for the number of vegans in the UK soaring to more than 3.5milion in recent years.
But, have any products rivalled Greggs’ vegan sausage roll success from last year? Let’s take a look….
Greggs’ vegan steak bake
The most anticipated launch was surely Greggs’ vegan steak bake. It featured on Good Morning Britain the day before it went on sale – Piers Morgan returned, enraged, to the show. “It’s not a steak. If you Google steak, a steak is a cut of meat or fish, it’s not vegan or vegetarian.”
His tirade did little to deter fans who waited overnight in freezing temperatures to get a first taste.
KFC’s Zero Chicken
Hot on the heels of the Imposter Burger trial that took place in London, Bristol and the Midlands last summer, the KFC Vegan Burger has been rolled out nationwide as a permanent plant-based addition to the menu.
During the try-out, it sold out within four days with demand over 500% higher than predicted. KFC has since been bombarded with pleas to bring back the vegan burger and make it available nationwide.
The meat-free burger comes complete with the iconic 11 Original Recipe flavour, as created by the Colonel back in 1952.
Subway’s Meatless Meatball Marinara
The sandwich shop has created this vegan version of its popular Meatball Marinara and excitement reached fever pitch.
As one of the best-selling sarnies in the UK, this new plant-based version had big boots to fill. It’s the latest vegan version of our faves to hit the Subway menu and comes packed with all the flavour of the original. Meatless meatballs – the ingredients of which remain a secret – are smothered in the same marinara sauce and comes with oozing slices of melted vegan cheese and a choice of vegan sauces including Garlic Aioli, Sriracha Hot Chilli or Sweet Onion.
Pizza Hut’s “Pepperphoni” pizza
Topped with pretend slices of cured Italian meat made from pea protein – sitting on vegan cheese and a classic dough base – this limited-edition dish has created such demand that it’s sure to take a regular spot on the menu.
We love that Pizza Hut set out to excite both vegan and non-vegan customers. Pea protein is a first for Pizza Hut restaurants and, along with other plant-based meat products, is a really exciting food manufacturing area that we’re tracking here at Souter PR. Read this if you want to find out more – it’s really interesting.
Hats off again to Aldi, which not only got everyone talking about its extended range of SpecialBuys for Veganuary, including Vegan No Pork Sausage Roll, Vegan BBQ Jackfruit sausage roll and Rosemary and Onion Sausages – all for just 99p.
At a slightly higher price point – but still really accessible – are the likes of its BBQ Jackfruit Pizza, Spicy Cauliflower Pizza and ‘Bacon’ and Mushroom Pizza for just £1.75.
Not content with vegan foodie fare, the supermarket also introduced its first completely vegan skincare range and even vegan trainers. Taking inspiration from ethical designer offerings including Stella McCartney’s adidas Stan Smith and Veja’s V-10s , Aldi’s come up with its own stylish sneakers, which are Vegan Society approved. And whilst Stella McCartney’s Stan Smiths sell for £235, Aldi’s cost just £12.99. What’s not to love? Aldi, once again we salute you.