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The Rise of UK Veganism


2020 feels like the year of the vegan. Over the last few years veganism has been creeping steadily into the mainstream, and now most restaurants, takeaways and food retailers provide options for their vegan customers. 

The business benefits of introducing vegan products is best encapsulated by the success of Greggs vegan sausage. The bakery chain saw total sales rise by 13.5% in 2019, and subsequently rewarded its staff with a £7m bonus of up to £300 per employee. 

According to research commissioned by The Vegan Society, the number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2019. In 2019 there were 600,000 known vegans, which equates to approximately 1.16% of the population. 

Moreover, Sainsbury’s Future of Food Report suggests that vegans and vegetarians are set to make up a quarter of the British population in 2025, and flexitarians just under half of all UK consumers.

The growing demand for vegan cuisine is reflected in the Local Data Company report, GB Retail & Leisure Market Analysis. In H1 2019 (first 6 months), vegan restaurants were reported to be the highest early stage growth category (28.6%). This was a continuation from the top position they also held in 2018. 

UK Vegan Hotspots

In order to show the growth of vegan restaurants in the UK, we’ve used data from HappyCow to map the current 569 vegan restaurants, and reveal the country’s hotspots.

UK Vegan Hotspots

The data reveals the top 20 UK vegan hotspots to be:

  • East London (45)
  • London (30)
  • South West London (22)
  • Glasgow (21)
  • North London (20)
  • Brighton (18)
  • South East London (18)
  • Bristol (16)
  • Manchester (15)
  • North West London (14)
  • Cardiff (13)
  • Liverpool (13)
  • Edinburgh (12)
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne (11)
  • West London (11)
  • Birmingham (8)
  • Leeds (7)
  • Sheffield (7)
  • Bath (6)
  • Bournemouth (5)

Although London takes the top spot, there is growth in the North such as Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh.  

The growth of vegan restaurants has had a direct impact on how the nation orders takeaway. The popularity of online ordering platforms such as Deliveroo, Just Eat, and Uber Eats makes ordering from vegan restaurants more accessible.

According to research by The British Takeaway Campaign, orders of vegan meals grew by 388% between 2016 and 2018, and they are now the UK’s fastest growing takeaway choice. 

If you’re thinking of opening a new vegan restaurant, use our online quote tool to see how much business energy rates will be in your area. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our sales representatives now by calling 0800 411 8830.  

 

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