Over 600 000 people took part in Veganuary at the beginning of this year, and all indications are that even more will sign up for it again in January 2023. This makes it the ideal marketing tool post-Christmas to focus consumer attention on your existing vegan ranges - and to highlight any new vegan product range launches in your store.
Since it was first launched in 2014 as a way to encourage non-vegans to try the lifestyle for a month – and hopefully beyond – Veganuary has been regularly responsible for a significant boost in the sales of relevant products, as well as an increase in general customer interest in veganism.
This makes January undoubtedly a very important month for all things vegan, so right now is the perfect time to make sure you have enough stock ordered to meet demand.
And while you’re creating your order list, don’t forget to explore Holleys’ exciting new vegan offerings. It’s always a winning strategy to have something different, exciting and, above all, tasty to tempt your customers, so why not start by taking a look at our Simply Green range?
This is a brand-new range for us, and we’re extremely excited to have these high-quality products to add to our offerings. The range includes Easy Mix falafel mixes (which are so delicious we recommend stocking up on all three variants as it’s impossible to choose a favourite!) as well as veggie burger mixes and a sensational bean bake that packs a big protein punch.
Plant-based, planet-friendly, and gluten-free, the tempting Simply Green Easy Mix range provides a hassle-free introduction to vegan alternatives for newbies and experimental vegans alike – all you have to do is add water to create a delicious meal.
The second of our new ranges is guaranteed to satisfy those “I need something a little sweet” moments. The New England Cookie Co’s range of crunchy Choc Chip, Salted Caramel, Lemon and Fruit Shortbread cookies is 100% vegan and 100% delicious. It’s definitely one to add to your order sheet for the new year.
Display your way to great vegan sales
Of course, it’s one thing to stock great vegan products, but if they’re not displayed correctly, you’re probably leaving money on the table.
We see many retailers confining their plant-based lines to specialist vegan aisles. But doing this effectively hides them from people who might be interested in discovering vegan alternatives but who either don’t know where in your store to look or are unaware you have such an aisle.
The key is to merchandise plant-based products alongside their non-vegan alternatives. In this way, you maximise the possibility of non-vegan customers discovering them unintentionally.
A well-thought-out and attractive Veganuary display strategy plays a huge role in attracting new shoppers both to your store and to the possibilities that exist in the meat-free category.
Research shows retailers who capitalise on every aspect of Veganuary potential can see up to a 22% boost in category sales when compared to other months.
Here are some practical tips to help you make the most of this bumper month:
1. Offer as wide a choice as possible
Sometimes, even products you might think are vegan, aren’t actually vegan. So, in addition to the more “well-known” plant-based product ranges, such as meat-free variants of traditionally meat-based products, it’s important to stock other, good quality alternatives too.
Confectionery is a great example. Many sweet items contain products derived in some way from animals, so cannot be classified as vegan. But they’re not always easy to identify. Rather be safe than sorry and make sure you stock specifically vegan products.
Flower and White, for example, offer a tempting range of plant-based meringue bars in a variety of delicious flavours – perfect for when your customers feel the need for something chocolatey that isn’t actually made with chocolate!
And even the renowned Swiss chocolate brand Lindt has added some mouth-watering vegan treats to its range. Why not stock up on their Vegan Smooth and Vegan Hazelnut bars, made with oat drink instead of milk?
Love Raw also has a wide variety of sweet-tooth-satisfying treats that are perfect to add to your Veganuary ranges. Tempt your customers with Peanut Butter Cups, Cream Wafer Bars, Milk Chocolate Bars and Nutty Choc balls. Yum!
And let’s not forget those all-important condiments. Some are naturally vegan anyway, but for specifically vegan varieties of traditional condiments such as mayonnaise and horseradish, you can’t go wrong with Atkins & Potts’ Inspired Vegan range. Stock up on Hollandaise-style, Tartare or Bearnaise sauce, for example. And don’t forget those creamy dressings that are always customer favourites, such as Honei Mustard, Blue Cheeze or Caesar-style.
2. Make products easy to find
As we mentioned before, instead of clustering all your vegan products in one place, display them alongside their non-vegan cousins, but make them stand out with the use of dairy-free or vegan shelf talkers. This helps shoppers identify these options – even if they’re not specifically looking for vegan items.
At the end of the day, you want to make existing and potential vegans feel cared for and remembered in your store. This means no more creating a vegan product ghetto which they have to locate themselves! Instead, include vegan varieties throughout your store, together with their “regular” alternatives.
3. Consider broadening your vegan offerings beyond Veganuary
In 2022, over 80% of the people who took part in Veganuary said they were planning on making more permanent changes to their diets to incorporate more plant-based products. This presents a huge opportunity for retailers to increase the variety of well-known and best-selling vegan brands to keep customers coming back long after January has passed.
There are undoubtedly many opportunities to capitalise on – in January and throughout the year. Rising energy costs and a sharp increase in the general cost of living mean many people are looking to cut back on how much meat they eat. But they don’t want to sacrifice quality, variety or taste.
Research indicates that the meat-free market will be worth around £1.1 billion by 2024, so getting in on the ground now, and making sure you stock a great selection of plant-based alternatives will ensure you’re in a strong position to make the most of this growing shift in consumer preferences.
It’s time to formulate a cohesive marketing strategy that not only appeals to meat reducers, vegans and vegetarians but also to those looking to make more general lifestyle changes.
We’d love to help you have your most successful Veganuary yet, so please get in touch and let’s talk about what you need.