20 vegan facts for 2020 - Macphie

Veganuary (a UK non-profit organisation, not just a hashtag) encourages people to go vegan for the month of January as a way to promote and educate about a vegan lifestyle.

It is no coincidence that it happens in January, as it is a time when many people make big changes in their lifestyle choices.

To start 2020 off we have pulled out 20 vegan facts to demonstrate the importance of this to operators.


  1. The 2019 Veganuary campaign saw more than a quarter of a million people taking part, while many brands, supermarkets and restaurants promoted the campaign. Estimates are that 2020 will see those numbers continue to increase and that this Veganuary will be the most popular yet.
  2. Kantar data shows 37% of meat-free occasions were chosen for health reasons this year.
  3. Yo! has the highest number of vegan dishes on the menu, followed by Zizzi, Beefeater, Bill’s and Turtle Bay. Make sure customers can easily find out what your vegan options are through clear indication on menus as well as promotions.
  4. Veganuary 2020 has prompted the highest number of vegan products launching including Gregg’s vegan steak bake, KFC’s zero chicken burger, Wagamama’s watermelon tuna, Pizza Hut Pepperphoni Pizza and Subway’s meatless marinara.
  5. Thirty percent of UK adults aged 16-24 agree that plant-based or vegan diet is good for the environment. 2 Are you shouting about your green credentials to your customers?
  6. Twenty one percent of US adults say flexitarian (a reduction in meat consumption) best describes their dietary preferences. 2
  7. Between Sept 2014 and Aug 2019, 60% of global food and drink launches with vegan claims were European. The UK and Germany are the leading markets for vegan claims. 2
  8. Meat-free foods that have a short list of ingredients (sometimes referred to as clean label) are deemed more appealing by 41% of UK adults. Make sure you pick a good base sauce to start from, we can recommend a few
  9. The food-to-go market has exploded, however 25% of food-to-go shoppers would like a larger selection of vegan products. 3
  10. Nootropics (substances such as blueberries and broccoli that may improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals) are on the agenda in 2020. Seaweed is a great natural source of iodine and provides a great fishy flavour.  Vegan food does not have to be tasteless.  Find out more about nootropics here.
  11. Over 40% of food waste is fruit and veg and is due to consumer selectiveness. Increasingly likely to see more “wonky” fruit and veg in 2020 in shops and operators promoting when they use it, to combat the perception of imperfection of shape mattering.
  12. Cauliflower is a popular vegetable. Discover ways to tap into its texture, taste and nutrients in our cauliflower insight article.
  13. Recent research from Quorn identified that 67% of older plant-based shoppers say they’re making food choices based on how it impacts the next generation.
  14. Consumers are choosing meat-free for a variety of reasons with health and sustainability being two of the key reasons – more than half of British adults now “adopt vegan buying behaviour”. 1
  15. Veganism is not new. The first vegan cookbook was published in the US in 1874.  The book is called ‘The Hygeian Home Cook Book’ and was published in New York by Russell Thatcher Trall; one of the founding members of the American Vegetarian Society.
  16. In 2018 The Vegan Society surveyed 2,000 people aged 15 or over across England, Scotland and Wales. They found the number of vegans in Britain has doubled twice in the past four years: from 0.25% (150,000) in 2014 to 0.46% (276,000) in 2016 to 1.16% in 2018 (600,000).
  17. Google searches for vegan are nearly three times higher than for vegetarian and gluten-free. Will customers find you when they search looking for a vegan offering?
  18. According to Deliveroo, the number of restaurants catering for vegans on the platform has grown by 168% in the past year.   However, according to a recent survey by Pub and Bar magazine, over 70% of consumers don’t rate vegan pub offers.  With 29% of consumers looking for vegan options when dining out, operators must continue to excite and inspire the growing vegan population. 5
  19. The increase in items labelled vegan has continued. The initial step change in the number of vegan-labelled items on menus was on autumn/winter 2017 menus (236% increase from spring/summer 2017 and 85% increase from autumn/winter 2016).    The latest menus show a 44% increase period on period with there now being over 1,000 dishes on menus. 1
  20. One in 10 children aged eight to 13 now identify as a vegetarian or vegan, according to a report by veggie brand Linda McCartney, with a further 44% trying to eat less meat and dairy. 3


It’s no surprise that the majority of the menu prediction reports go for varying evolutions of the plant-based arena. Health and wellness is an industry-wide phenomenon and, in diners’ eyes, very much extends to wider environmental and ethical concerns.


Macphie has a range of vegan-suitable and vegan-certified products, click here for more information.  You can find vegan recipes to provide some inspiration here.


For information on all Macphie’s products, please contact your account manager or call customer services on 0800 085 8900.


Sources:  1 MCA | 2 Mintel | 3 Foodspark | 4 Kantar | 5 Pub & Bar | Vegan Society | Google trends 2018-2020