Sales of vegan food products have grown 8.1% in the last year alone and retailers are unable to ignore this latest consumer trend. The huge rise in demand for vegan-friendly food is pushing major companies to stop and take notice. This could be considered the start of the biggest shift in the mainstream market towards pioneering a more plant-based future thus far.
Even international ice cream manufacturers Ben and Jerry’s brought out a new vegan ice cream in an effort to expand their consumer base by reaching the ever-growing population of vegans (and the 75% of people who are lactose-intolerant).
In a recent article by Walmart News Now, this giant US chain has advised their suppliers to take advantage of this demand by offering more products that are suitable for vegans, besides merely fruit and vegetables – and in doing so, are proving that retailers are not unaware of this increasingly popular dietary shift. They reported:
“Supplier Takeaway: Opportunities in Plant-Based Foods Abound
Even if your target market isn’t vegans or vegetarians, you may still have plant-based foods in your assortment that could meet the needs of these consumers. What kind of marketing could you do that would get your products in front of folks looking for plant-based foods?”
Walmart’s article then proceeds to encourage their suppliers to not only meet the needs of their mixed consumer marketplace, but also to consider their marketing approach and get their plant-based options to the baskets of consumers – regardless of their dietary stance. To help achieve this foreseeable feat, Walmart provides resources and courses to assist their suppliers in the appropriate areas.
Other supermarkets across the globe are also listening to the demands of consumers, including Sainsbury’s in the UK who have expanded their range of vegan cheese following an overwhelming demand from customers. and possibly after seeing a drop in dairy sales. Marks and Spencer’s also debuted their 2017 Christmas dinner menu – with more vegetarian and vegan options than meat.
All of this news shows that consumers voices are not going unheard and that major retailers will amend their stock orders with products that are better-suited to the changing marketplace. Ultimately, news like this just goes to further show that creating a plant-based future is possible when consumers vote with their dollars.
Author: Eve Coates