More Brits than ever have sought out vegan and meat-free holiday food this holiday season, according to new data. The “UK Vegan Christmas Heatmap” was released by data provider SEMrush last week.
According to the heatmap, the Isle of Wight saw a 60 percent increase in searches — the biggest in the UK. It was closely followed by Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, which saw increases of 58 percent and 57 percent respectively. Only Durham and two areas of Sussex saw decreases in searches, per My London.
Overall, searches for vegan and meat-free Christmas food — totaling 49,263 — are up 25 percent from last year, which saw 39,410 people seeking out options. Last year was a 16 percent increase from 2017.
Vegan Christmas Food in the UK
Major supermarket chains are meeting the demand for vegan options, including Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, and more. Tesco, for example, offers meatless pigs-in-blankets, a butternut squash, mushroom, and chestnut wreath, as well as vegan desserts this year.
Data from global market research firm Mintel shows that the UK launched more vegan products than any other nation last year, representing one in six new products. Supermarkets are leading the way with own-brand launches. Edward Bergen, global food and drinks analyst at Mintel, noted that supermarket brands allow non-vegan consumers to try new products.
“Veganism has been big news in the UK this year – you only need to look at the response to Extinction Rebellion and Gregg’s vegan sausage roll launch – so sustainable meat was likely to influence this year’s Christmas celebrations,” Olga Andrienko, head of global Marketing at SEMrush, said in a statement.
Reasons for choosing a meat-free Christmas may be due to health, ethics, or sustainability. Research released by Humane Society International, an animal welfare nonprofit, revealed that traditional turkey feasts emit more than double the greenhouse gas emissions of a vegan holiday dinner. According to Mintel’s data, 31 percent of Brits said that reports on the environmental impact of meat make compelling arguments for eating less of it.
Andrienko added, “It’s great to see people in nearly every region in the UK are willing to add a vegan element to their Christmas menus.”