HRA’s Top 5 Veganuary Launches 2019


As trends go, Vegan in 2018 was one of the hottest – and with Veganuary underway, the category has well and truly entered 2019 on the front foot. Everyone in the food industry, both friends and foes of veganism, expects participation rates to comfortably beat last year’s record. Veganuary 2019 is set to be a trend setter for the year. Greggs PR machine has spring into action, having already set tongues wagging with the infamous Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll. 

woman with lettuce as hair

2018 was a strong year for Vegan NPD with ‘bleeding burgers’, vegan steak and ‘pulled jackfruit’ appearing on the menu, not to mention the is-hazlenut-really-a-milk debate. 

2019 is looks to have no slowing down of the trend, so here are 5 potential ‘hero’ launches we think are in with a chance of making waves in 2019.

  1. Lazy Vegan

Previously only on sale in Iceland (the country), Amsterdam-based start-up Lazy Vegan are looking to take Sainsbury’s by storm and we’re proud to have supported the team and the brand. With JS placing a huge emphasis on Veganuary this year with over 25 new lines, Lazy Vegan looks to be one of the stars. 

Based on their brand new meat alternative, Pulled Peaz, made from the protein and fibre of fresh garden peas, the range comprises four SKUs: two bagged ready meals, stir-fried from frozen in just ten minutes: Mexican and Provençale; and two Pulled Peaz also in bags, Mediterranean and Natural. 

One of the principal Lazy Vegan selling points is that not only is it vegan, it is soy-free, gluten-free, and free from all 14 registered allergens – giving the brand scope to take not just the vegan community by storm, but the entire Free From market. 

lazy vegan food product

Plant-based Bacon (or Facon, so-called by many Vegans), has been a key feature of many a vegan’s diet for some time. So what makes Natural Seitan Bacon from US-export Upton’s any different?

2. Upton’s ‘Natural’ Seitan Bacon

Not only is it fully vegan, it is low-Carb, low-sugar, low-fat, and made without GMOs. Much like the ‘real thing’ it can be cooked just a little for inclusion within a vast range of dishes, or crispy – for the crispy bacon lover. 

What’s more, a bonus especially for the ethical Vegan, a portion of the profits from any retail packages sold go to ‘keeping pigs happy at Farm Sanctuary’.

Upton's Natural Seitan Bacon

3. Sophie’s Kitchen

Another Sainsbury’s exclusive, Sophie’s Kitchen is a Californian brand also making their UK debut in JS this January. Describing the range as ‘gourmet-based seafood’, the range comprises the innovative plant-based shrimp, crab-cakes, and the plant-based foodie favourite, vegan smoked salmon. 

We wonder – if Bacon is dubbed ‘Facon’, should Vegan Crab Cakes called Frab-Fakes?

Sophie's Kitchen vegan shrimp

4. M&S Plant Kitchen

With the Vegan and Flexitarian trends really storming the category, the latest retail giant to muscle in on the action is Marks & Spencer, with their Plant Kitchen range, described by the retailer as a ‘Game Changer’. 

The 60-strong range comprises ‘high-street firsts’ with its coleslaw, potato salad, and the first Vegan-friendly Sourdough pizza. In addition, the retailer advertises its ‘Dirty Vegan’ comfort food dishes such as cauliflower popcorn with buffalo dip and cashew mac as range heroes.

Update:   Despite marking the range as ‘Vegan’, since launch the retailer has come under fire for its ‘confusing’ labelling: with allergen signposting highlighting potential ‘traces’ of eggs and milk in the product – which hasn’t gone down too well with some consumers. 

m and s plant kitchen

5. McDonald’s Veggie Happy Meal & Veggie Wrap

In a move marking a UK first for the multinational corporation, McDonald’s has launched its first veggie wrap and veggie Happy Meal in the UK. 

The main meal option comprises a red pesto goujon tortilla wrap, garnished with ketchup and shredded lettuce. 

Despite not being certified vegan (the tortillas are toasted through the same toaster as the regular buns, which contain milk), ethical vegans and all those not concerned about a very mild contamination risk aren’t likely to mind. 

McDonald's Veggie Wrap

Have you got a vegan product you are looking to launch? Or would like to know more about the vegan category? Contact Roseanna at [email protected] or call us at +44 (0) 1803 203387

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