Asda UK now offers vegan chocolate orange buttons; one bag will set you back just £0.37.
The dairy-free chocolate treats are part of Asda’s Free From line, made without dairy, eggs, and wheat. The citrusy chocolates aren’t the only vegan buttons the affordable grocery store carries. You can also find vegan white chocolate buttons and regular chocolate buttons, according to the website.
The vegan chocolates speak to the rising demand for “free from” food in the UK. The nation launched more plant-based food products than any other nation last year, according to Mintel data.
“The most poignant of these is the expansion of supermarket own-label options with dedicated vegan ranges in mainstream stores,” said Edward Bergen, global food and drinks analyst at the firm. New vegan food products represented 16 percent of launches last year as more consumers are willing to try thing free from animal ingredients for reasons such as health or sustainability.
Even established brands like Cadbury are capitalizing on changing preferences; the iconic chocolatier announced dairy-free dark chocolate Bourneville buttons earlier this month. “By teaming the most recognizable dark chocolate brand with the iconic Cadbury Giant Button format, we believe we have created a real opportunity for retailers to drive sales,” said Mathieu Maggi, Cadbury Bourneville brand manager, noting that dark chocolate demand is growing.
Overall global chocolate consumption is on the rise, particularly around holidays like Easter, according to Mintel. The British consume more chocolate than any other nation, with each person eating an average of 8.4 kilograms (18.5 pounds) annually. It’s followed by Switzerland, Germany, Russia, and Austria.
“There’s currently a focus on plant-based eating in the chocolate sector. Manufacturers have responded to the growing interest in plant-based diets by replacing dairy milk with nut-or-grain-derived milks in milk chocolate products,” said Marcia Mogelonsky, director of the firm’s Global New Products Database.
This translates to the increased availability of vegan-friendly options for Easter chocolates from grocery stores, including Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Tesco, Asda, Holland & Barrett, and Waitrose. Independent chocolatiers are also launching dairy-free sweets, such as Mummy Meagz’s Cadbury-style creme egg, which uses cocoa butter in place of dairy for the iconic creamy center.