Veganuary hits 1 million participants ahead of 2021 campaign

Yvonne O'Halloran

Veganuary is a movement that has encouraged people to go vegan for the month of January since its conception 7 years ago. The company is about to hit its 1 millionth participant’s this week & the UK based campaign said that hitting 1 million supporters was a ‘huge milestone’.

Official participant numbers have been growing exponentially, from just over 3,000 in 2014 to over 400,000 in 2020. There were 170,000 participants in 2018, 250,000 in 2019 and 400,000 earlier this year. However, research suggests that the number of people who have ‘done Veganuary’ without actually signing up could be ten times greater. The biggest supporters have been in Latin America, followed by India.

According to The Guardian, manufacturers received a major boost on Friday from a vote by European politicians which gave the go-ahead for plant-based products to continue to be labelled “sausages” or “burgers”.

This January, KFC sold one million vegan burgers in the first month alone – the equivalent to one being sold every three seconds. Moreover, the number of customers ordering Pizza Hut’s vegan option almost doubled, and according to Deliveroo, orders of vegan dishes skyrocketed by 187% in 2020.

Even supermarket giant Asda revealed that the searches for ‘vegan’ soared to the top of the website in January this year with an increase of 400%.

Co-Founder Matthew Glover said: “When my wife Jane and I decided to launch a new year’s vegan pledge in 2014 we expected only 1,000 people to take part. More than 3,000 signed-up and we were blown away. Now Veganuary is a bigger feature in the retail calendar than Christmas, reflecting the ever-increasing number of people choosing plant-based food.”

He added: “One million official Veganuary participants in just seven years is a huge achievement, but the momentum behind the plant-based revolution will see us hit two million in no time.”

Vegans can expect a huge range of festive plant-based foods at the supermarkets.

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