2021 saw climate activism reach new heights. In the UK alone we saw activists from Insulate Britain block motorways and main roads around London, we held the first annual Earthshot Prize, and the highly anticipated COP 26 global summit in Glasgow took place with world leaders and activists coming together to make pledges on how we can tackle the worsening climate crisis. With the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industries being cited as one of the top three reasons people chose to live a plant-based lifestyle, it’s no wonder that we’ve seen official participation in Veganuary increase a staggering 200% in just 12 months.

For brands, this presents a fantastic opportunity to tap into shoppers who are either trying out the lifestyle temporarily, looking to follow a flexitarian diet (often with the goal of slowly transitioning to fully plant-based) or make a permanent change to their eating habits. Whether that be by offering delicious alternatives to a brand’s meaty classics such as Ginsters with their new Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Slice, or reintroducing your naturally delectable vegan credentials to consumers in the instance of Manilife and their range of peanut butters, or the badass goodness found in a Re:nourish soup, good communication is vital in delivering that message to these intrepid consumers.

But let’s not forget about the loyalists, those that have been living a plant-based life for years. Whilst January is an exciting time filled with new and exciting products to try, remember to some Veganuary is for life, not just for January, and in 2021 825 new vegan products and menu items were launched worldwide. With people choosing to go vegan every day, ensuring innovation in the plant-based space is not just smart business, it will be a vital endeavour to ensure continued growth across the food and drink industry; from on-trade to on the go, and whilst limited-edition products are great for attracting new audiences to a brand, its integral to keep these consumers engaged year-round to create new brand loyalists.