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Veganuary 2019 Highlights: The good, the bad and Piers Morgan

Greggs vegan sausage roll from veganuary 2019

This was our first ever Veganuary and tbf we smashed it. Aside from our own achievements, we wanted to round up the best things that came from 2019’s efforts. From new food items, to viral discussions – it was a big one! With over 250,000 people officially signed up to Veganuary, it has definitely been the biggest year so far and sparked conversations amongst people with little to no knowledge of veganism.

So let’s crack on with Veganuary 2019’s highlight reel in our top 10:

10. McDonalds Vegetarian Expansion

McDonalds are renowned for having shite veggie/vegan options, this year they kicked it up a notch with happy meals, wraps and improved recipes all round. We expect this to get even bigger next year, but it’s a good start.

McDonalds' veggie wrap from Veganuary 2019

9. Costa Coffee’s Milk Alternatives

Costa previously only offered soya milk as an alternative to traditional dairy milks, but Jan 2019 saw the chain chuck in Almond and Coconut milk to their mix. They’re still missing out on the top-tier oat milk vibe, but we’ll get there.

8. Vegan TV Cooking Shows

Looking away from the brands for a second, it was a bit of a surprise to see vegan cooking shows making a frequent appearance throughout the month. BBC has Dirty Sanchez’s Matthew Pritchard do Dirty Vegan which looked at healthy vegan recipes and probably taught a lot of people that protein doesn’t have to come from animals.

7. Sainsbury’s Vegan Meat Butchers

So, I imagine this one is fairly controversial. I know a lot of vegans hate seeing meat and will refuse to go anywhere near it. Sainsburys announced in this year’s Veganuary that they were opening a veggie meat counter alongside their existing butchers. I see how it could be upsetting for some, but I also like the idea of someone trying some veggie meat alongside their normal purchases. I can’t see it happening a lot but it could be a cool idea. Looking forward to seeing this one in action, I must say.

Article excerpt from www.veganfoodandliving.com

6. Aldi Going Vegan

Sticking with supermarkets, it was wicked to see Aldi dedicate an entire section to vegan goods for the month. They had the delightful Hellman’s vegan mayo, a range of vegan crisps and jerky alongside a bunch of healthy meal options. Considering their veggie range is small usually, it was cool to see a budget shop sell some vegan goods that are usually hard to come by in supermarkets. I hope they smashed sales so they can make some of them a permanent feature.

5. Frankie and Benny’s Vegan Menu

Frankie and Benny’s and vegan food are not two things I would ever associate. But the diner chain decided to create a whole menu for the month featuring vegan burgers, pizzas, nuggets, mac n cheese and a whole host of other filthy vegan junk food. On top of this they slapped 50% off it the entire month with PETA backing making it cheap, accessible across the country and bloody delicious. Well…I say delicious, we unfortunately never got to try any of it because it sold out so quick. Must be a good thing?

4. Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Zizzis – The Pizza Revolution

Pizza can be a little depressing without cheese on it and it’s fairly difficult to actually find a good one. But Veganuary 19 came along and businesses decided to satisfy our cravings with a range of filthy pizzas. Pizza Hut treated us to BBQ jackfruit (and pissed Piers Morgan off in the process), Papa Johns released vegan cheese in their shops (admittedly not very well) and Zizzi had a FOUR-cheese pizza. Bit mad really, but pizza is obviously a necessity so we appreciate the effort.

3. M&S Plant-based Kitchen

Marks and Sparks was lacking in the veggie and vegan department massively compared to other stores. But they definitely turned it around when they decided to release a mahoosive range and please vegans near and far. Highlights included potato salad, coleslaw and some absolutely incredible ‘chicken’ nuggets. We both hope this range is here to stay because it is bangin’!

Taken from M&S Plant Kitchen range

2. Trends, Talks and Piers Morgan

Now everyone knows that Piers Morgan is a right tit, but we have to actually congratulate him. He got the nation talking about veganism a lot, admittedly mostly due to Greggs’ efforts. But throughout the month, brands were tweeting him with their vegan food, he continued to moan, and ensured that veganism was headline news often. Top work Piers.

Google Trends data showing the interest in Veganuary over the last 5 years

1. Greggs’ Vegan Sausage Roll

This just had to be number one really, didn’t it? Everyone’s favourite bakery chain that’s on pretty much every street corner smashed it. And yes, it tastes exactly the same as the meat one but less greasy. EVERYONE was talking about this and everyone was trying it (found this out the hard way when every Greggs in Notts was sold out for about 2 days!) I know many meat-eaters gave it a whirl and this one £1 sausage roll may have opened the mind’s of many a carnivore. Fingers crossed for a vegan bake in the coming months!

Do you agree with our top 10? Think we missed something out? Let us know in the comments or over on Insta, Facebook or Twitter @AtlasFootprints

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