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Banking on Veganism: UK’s Vegan Franchise Brands On The Up

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The UK's Greggs, a network of bakery stores, had a phenomenal year that they directly attributed to the launch of their new plant-based product line, and the popularity of its vegan sausage roll.

FIONA SIMPSON: ‘There’s no doubt that the vegan movement is becoming a real force to be reckoned with. Veganuary here in the UK has just come to an end – an initiative that encourages people to go vegan during the month of January as a way to promote and educate about a vegan lifestyle. Since the event began over here in 2014 participation has more than doubled each year… More and more people are opting to follow a plant based diet, not only for reasons of health but also for environmental and animal welfare reasons. Here in in the UK, it’s estimated that now over 3.5 million people are vegan… Over in the US veganism hasn’t quite gained pace in the same way, with around 3% of the population in 2018 reported to be following a vegan diet, however there is undoubtedly a positive shift towards healthier eating and a more environmentally conscious way of life.

It follows that veganism is becoming big business, and there’s no better indicator of the impact of veganism on big business success than the story of British bakery chain Greggs. Greggs isn’t a franchise brand, but has a large network of company-owned bakery outlets across the UK. 2019 saw it launch an innovative and highly publicized new product line, the vegan sausage roll. The hot baked snack flew out of stores – and as a result Greggs bosses announced last month that they would pay out a £7million windfall to 25,000 staff after a “phenomenal year” that they directly attributed to the launch of the new plant-based product line…

So with the increased interest in veganism and the inevitable recognition of its commercial potential, it’s understandable that 2019 saw a significant growth in vegan related franchise brands too… We’re right in the thick of the millennial movement. Seen as the world’s most powerful consumers, millennials are now buying houses, starting families – and starting businesses too. They are considered to be the driving force behind the plant-based diet movement. They’re drawn to spending their money with brands that they believe are authentic and that share their philosophies and beliefs’.  SOURCE…

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