Veganuary is in full swing in the UK, and Waitrose is making quite a splash.
This month, the retailer announced it has added more than 30 new own-label vegan products, doubling the range from last year to more than 120 products.
The new range includes a number of first-to-market innovations such as the Vegan No Egg Fried Rice, cooked rice with tofu, petits pois, spring onion, ginger and sesame seed oil, and the Crisp-Crumbed Fishless Goujons, made from banana blossom, a natural ingredient found at the end of the banana fruit cluster with a fleshy, flaky texture that mimics fish. Another exclusive only found at Waitrose & Partners, is a Vegan Spicy Meatless Feast Pizza, which uses vegan pepperoni.
“Last year we saw veganism and plant based diets making their way further into the mainstream and we see no signs of this slowing down," Simona Cohen-Vida-Welsh, Waitrose & Partners Vegan Developer says.
The retailer revealed sales for vegan and vegetarian products have increased in the last year, with vegan ready meals overtaking vegetarian for the first time ever.
Highlights from the new range also include:
Vegan No Chicken Samosa: Ideal as a starter or side to curries, the crisp fried pastry filled with soya mince, onion and potato with herbs and spices.
Vegan Pea and Jack Hock Fiorelli: The fresh pasta is filled with petits pois and jackfruit with a hint of mint and smoked paprika.
Vegan Asian inspired BBQ Mushroom with Sticky Rice: The rice is served with marinated and roasted portobello mushrooms, vibrant pak choi and pickled vegetables in a spicy chilli and garlic sauce.
The range has been given a new design to make shopping the products easier for customers and focuses on three main themes:
- Ready-meals dishes that are quick and convenient, but still full of vibrant flavours
- Shortcut cooking ingredients that make it easy for customers to cook vegan and vegetarian food, and experiment with new flavours
- Vegan and vegetarian alternatives to products like pizza, garlic bread and savoury snacks
The range follows on from the biggest Christmas ever for vegan food, with sales up by 40% year on year, as more customers than ever looked to incorporate a vegan offering into their festive feasts.