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Vegan NPD flourishing, analysts find

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With this year’s Veganuary proving to be the biggest to date, new statistics revealing that NPD is at an all time high may not come as a surprise.

According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), in 2018, the UK was the nation with the highest number of new vegan food products launched, toppling Germany from its number one spot. As many as one in six (16 per cent) food products launched in the UK in 2018 had a vegan/no animal ingredients claim, doubling from just eight per cent in 2015.

Overall, one in 10 (nine per cent) food products launched in Europe in 2018 had a vegan/no animal ingredients claim, doubling from five per cent in 2015.

Mintel also found that flexitarianism is on the rise in the UK; one in three (34 per cent) of British meat eaters reduced their meat consumption in the six months to July 2018 following a flexitarian approach, up from 28 per cent who had done so in 2017.

Furthermore, sales of non-dairy milk grew 9.4 per cent from £202m in 2016 to £221m in 2017. Meanwhile, one in 10 (nine per cent) of Brits drank plant-based milk in the three months to February 2018, rising to 27 per cent of consumers aged 25-34.

Edward Bergen, Global Food and Drinks Analyst at Mintel, commented: “For a number of years, Germany led the world for launches of vegan products. However, 2018 saw the UK take the helm. Germany has certainly plateaued, likely driven by a flooded market with little room to grow further. The UK, by contrast, has seen a huge promotion of vegan choices in restaurants and supermarkets. The most poignant of these is the expansion of supermarket own-label options with dedicated vegan ranges in mainstream stores. Additional space is also being freed up by UK supermarkets in the on-the-go aisles and small format stores to help promote vegan food and drink, making it easier for meat-eating consumers to try these new concepts out.

“Meanwhile, initiatives like Veganuary and meat-less Monday allow consumers to flirt with veganism without the long-term commitment. As more people reduce their meat intake, they experiment with more plant-based dishes catering for their flexitarian lifestyles – whether at home, on-the-go or in restaurants. Moreover, consumers are becoming more willing than ever to expand their comfort zones, push themselves to the limit with new experiences and use social media to compete with and offer inspiration to their peers.”

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