The value of vegan

The publication last week of The World Health Organisation’s report concluding that consumption of processed meat is ‘carcinogenic to humans’ and red meat is ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ fell just a few days before World Vegan Day – celebrated annually on 1 November.

With many consumers left in a state of panic following the revelation and some asking the question, ‘is it time to go vegetarian/vegan?’, those reporting on World Vegan Day drew much attention to the findings in features such as: Seven reasons why you should go vegan today; and Five things we’ve learned about meat this year.

It will be interesting in the coming months and years to assess the effect of the news – if any – on global meat consumption. However, as for veganism, the figures suggest this is a trend already on the rise.

In keeping with the likes of free-from, natural, non GMO, clean label and ethical, vegan is another claim being made more often on labels. According to Mintel, the percentage of ‘vegan’ and, in particular, ‘no animal ingredients’ claims are growing, with the latter reported as rising from 1.52 per cent of new launches in 2009 to 5.31 per cent last year.
Beer brand Guinness is the latest big name to respond to the rising demand for vegan friendly foods and drinks, announcing plans this week to scrap the use of fish bladders in its filters.

Marking the first time in the company’s 256 year history that it has offered vegan friendly products, the move is set to be rolled out across the company next year and follows a longstanding campaign and several online petitions from beer loving vegans.

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