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As you’re on this page, we imagine you’re already well aware of the huge growth seen in vegan products and how the flexitarian lifestyle is becoming mainstream.

But what does this actually look like? We thought we’d update you on the key areas driving the vegan “boom”.

What’s feeding the demand?

Basically it’s the UK consumers who are demanding vegan products. In fact, one in three UK shoppers are planning to reduce their consumption of meat and fish in the next two years, so food suppliers need to adapt to meet this growing demand for vegan.

So where is the growth?

Ready meals are the fastest growing sector of the UK vegan market, driven by the expansion of own-label by retailers.

There are new ready meal ranges from Tesco (Wicked Kitchen and Plant Chef) and Sainsbury’s (Love Your Veg!) as well as new brands from discounters such as Aldi. M&S’s Plant Kitchen range is also a star performer, attracting over a half a million customers to its new vegan brand.

What are the drivers?

Affordability is key, particularly for the own-label brands which tend to be chosen by consumers for their value-for-money .

Availability and convenience are also drivers.

For example, Tesco’s Plant Chef “easy to prepare plant based swaps” range was introduced to enable consumers to find convenient plant-based versions of their favourite classic dishes and, almost overnight, nearly doubled the plant-based options available in-store.


Brands hold over 70% share of the market although this is starting to drop as retailers bring out own-label versions of vegan.

Vegans want their pizza and eat it too! For example (pre-covid) vegan pizzas were up over 100% YOY on UK foodservice menus.

And while numbers are currently relatively small, NPD in vegan-friendly pizzas will continue to grow, as more consumers seek these types of products across all food categories.


The vegan sector hasn’t reached maturity yet, but the proliferation of quality own-label ranges in UK supermarkets indicates that the market is heading that way.

So, to compete in an increasingly crowded marketplace, suppliers need to innovate as the number of obvious gaps begin to close.

Suppliers will need to think harder about vegan NPD and develop products in a different way.

As an example, we’ve seen pizza trends shift from organic to gluten-free and now to plant-based crusts, with recent new products made with cauliflower, courgette, sweet potato and broccoli bases.


And last, but not least, foodservice. As the nation’s foodservice industry starts to re-open, the word is that the lock-down has caused people to re-think their diet.

Pre-pandemic, the growth figures were impressive enough. But we believe that vegan will continue to grow as mindsets shift and consumers consider the link between diet and health.

Operators from all channels have embraced the plant-based trend and are continuing to develop new dishes to satisfy vegans/vegetarians and flexitarians.

A few examples: plant-based “cheese” was the second fastest growing menu ingredient – at over 120% increase – and was the fastest growing ingredient with a number of OOH operators using it in dishes.

Which leads us nicely to PlantNation…

Cheese is always a top-of-mind ingredient when consumers look for burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza, or other menu items. And it’s certainly a key component in giving food the flavour people love.

However, the choice was not so clear-cut when customers required plant-based, dairy-free options…until now!

PlantNation was born to meet the boom in demand for cheese-like vegan-friendly ingredients to meet consumers’ expectations for new and tasty meat-free alternatives.

Our in-house HPC Technology™ helps to deliver cheese-like ingredients that have consistent functionality, are easy to handle and conveniently formatted, making them suitable for a whole range of vegan menu and culinary applications.

PlantNation’s natural “cheese-like” attributes mean it is the nearest thing to traditional “cheese” currently available on the vegan market.

It also comes in three varieties to suit most culinary requirements…Pizza, White or Red versions to deliver a colourful visual vegan appeal for those menu applications where mozzarella, Cheddar or red Cheddar would previously have been used.

For more information, contact us at [email protected]


Ornua Ingredients Europe (UK) Ltd

Business Address
Spinneyfields Farm, Worleston, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 6DN

Facility Address
Spinneyfields Farm, Worleston, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 6DN

Business Registration Number 1933884

VAT Number GB482469807


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