Frozen food distributor Central Foods reported that volume sales of Linda McCartney vegetarian and vegan sausages soared by almost 20% from 2016 to the end of 2017.
It also found that if laid end to end, all the veggie sausages sold during 2017 would stretch to 15,000 times the height of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, central London.
Central Foods managing director Gordon Lauder said: “Demand for meat-free products has been increasing for some time."
Number of vegans
He added: “A recent study released by comparethemarket.com suggests that more than 3.5m British people now identify as being vegan, which is a big increase since 2016 when The Vegan Society revealed there were approximately 540,000 vegans over the age of 15 living in Britain.
“Part of the increase in sales of veggie sausages can be attributed to the rise in the number of vegans in the UK.
“Market research company Kantar Worldpanel found that more than one quarter and almost one third of the evening meals consumers in the UK during January 2018 were vegetarian or vegan.
“Breakfast is currently the fastest-growing meal occasion, however, it seems that veggie sausages are also taking pride of place in many a cooked breakfast served up by foodservice professionals across the UK, as well as at other times of the day.”
Meanwhile, vegan former chef Gaz Oakley told The Morning Advertiser that independent pubs should do more to attract meat and dairy-free diners.
Gaz Oakley, who spent four years working in restaurant kitchens in Cardiff as a full-time chef, has just released his debut cook book Vegan 100 and praised pub groups for showing diversity on menus, but said there was scope to appeal to vegans.
He said: “Chain pubs like JD Wetherspoon, always seem to have a [vegan] offer but I wouldn’t go to independent pubs to get vegan food.
“It would be nice if more pubs were putting vegan offerings on the menu, but I know it is still early days, and it will eventually happen, especially with the rise of veganism and the way it is growing, more pubs will put vegan offers on their menu in the future."