The popularity of plant-based

After what felt like a very long January, February is finally upon us. While the likes of Dry January and Veganuary may have finished for some people, others will still be persevering with their more general New Year’s resolutions to live healthier, eat less junk and exercise more often.

The latest UK grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel reveal the impact of New Year’s resolutions on food and drink spending. Published today for the 12 weeks to 28 January 2018, January saw one in 10 shoppers purchase a meat-free ready meal, while sales of certain fruit and vegetable items were up by as much as nearly half.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, comments, “As consumers look to more healthy alternatives following the holiday, trends like Veganuary have taken off and now 29% of evening meals contain no meat or fish at all. This sustained interest in vegan and vegetarian diets is reflected in the chilled aisles – over January, one in 10 shoppers bought a meat-free ready meal, causing sales to rocket by 15% compared to this time last year.

“Sales of spinach, cherries and aubergine also grew strongly compared to the past 12 months – up 43%, 25% and 23% respectively.”

This ‘sustained interest’, as McKevitt puts it, in vegan and vegetarian diets is being felt across the food and drink industry. Indeed, Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) today became the latest manufacturer to dip a toe into the free-from market, with the unveiling of a range of three plant-based drinks.

AdeZ is a dairy-free smoothie containing seeds, fruit juices and vitamins. Available in 250ml on-the-go bottles, the no added sugar drinks are set to launch in Britain at the end of March in three flavours: Amazing Almond Mango-Passionfruit, Mighty Oat Strawberry-Banana and Courageous Coconut Berry.

Plant-based drinks are increasingly popular in GB, with the emerging category growing by 10%, according to Nielsen. AdeZ is CCEP’s first foray into the sector and the company says it has been developed with the ambition to make plant-based drinks accessible and appealing, helping retailers tap into the growing health and wellness trend.

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