The Veganuary movement has reached one million subscribers, ahead of its 2021 campaign, which is now a bigger retail feature than Christmas.
Veganuary has reached one million participants globally, seven years after it was launched. This has been boosted by a massive surge in people trying more plant-based food during lockdown this year.
This year, Veganuary clocked up a record 400,000 signups. The movement saw 250,000 participants in 2019 and 170,000 in 2018. Since it began in 2014, all those numbers make up the one million mark. Toni Vernelli, Veganuary’s communications and marketing head, told The Vegan Review that 920,000 people had signed up since 2014 up until this year’s campaign: “So approximately, 80,000 people have signed up since February 1, 2020. We expect the 2021 campaign to be bigger than last year which saw more than 400,000 people sign up.”
But that’s just the official number: many more consumers are believed to have participated in Veganuary without signing the pledge. The movement began in 2014 in the New York kitchen of Jane Land and Matthew Glover with just 3,300 participants. Now, it’s celebrated across the world, with signups from every country in the world except North Korea, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and Vatican City.
The biggest growth in participants has been from Latin America, followed by India. Asia Pacific is estimated to have the highest number of vegan consumers globally by 2025.
The plant-based industry last week saw a landmark decision reached in the EU parliament, which voted against the ban on using product labelling terms like ‘veggie burger’ in plant-based meat products. However, the ban on plant-based dairy products still remains, which means we’ll keep seeing terms like ‘almond drink’ and ‘oat mylk’ for the foreseeable future.
Read more about the history of the EU’s ban on plant-based milk labelling terms.
In a video posted on its social channels, personalities like TV presenter Jasmine Harman, Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch and the first vegan Everest climber, Kuntal Joisher congratulated Veganuary on reaching a million subscribers.
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In a press release, Glover said: “Veganuary is a bigger feature in the retail calendar than Christmas. This reflects the ever-increasing number of people choosing plant-based food. One million official Veganuary participants in just seven years is a huge achievement. But the momentum behind the plant-based revolution will see us hit two million in no time.”
With Covid-19 prevalent everywhere, it’s likely to affect next year’s campaign. And with people staying at homes more, there could be an even bigger boom in Veganuary participants.
“Covid-19 has been driving an increase in the demand for vegan products and I think this will continue into January 2021,” said Vernelli. “I think many more people will be interested in signing up to try vegan with us, especially as we provide so many recipes to satisfy the renewed interest in cooking resulting from the restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic.”