Greggs grabs a slice of the vegan market

VEGANS have been in the news lately, or rather the treatment of vegans at the hands of one pub in Lewes, which banned vegans during a Boxing Day hunt.

That gesture as we know was completely misguided and underestimated the power of social media and the growing numbers of vegans in the UK today.

One high street giant has wasted no time in catering for the growing numbers by launching a vegan sausage roll.

As one person put it on Twitter; When one of the high street’s leading bakers produces a vegan sausage roll you know that change has finally come.

So why has the UK’s largest bakery chain taken the decision?

It appears that Greggs were pushed to cater for vegans following a petition, which was signed by 20,000 people.

Sausage rolls are not the only vegan inspired items to become hip in 2019. The animal charity PETA say that we are going to see a lot more products on offer in the mainstream including; oat milk, bagels, pineapple leather and beard lights.

2019 begins with Veganuary, which encourages people to embrace plant-based diets during January.

According to a survey conducted in 2018 by The Vegan Society the number of vegans in Britain has doubled twice in the past four years: from 0.25% (150,000) in 2014 to 0.46% (276,000) in 2016 to 1.16% in 2018 (600,000).

A vegan can be defined as follows; Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

Greggs sells around 1.5m traditional pork sausage rolls a week. The new meat free version will be made with vegetable oil and filled with Quorn. The new vegan sausage roll will be on sale in 950 of Greggs’s 1,850 UK shops from Thursday, costing £1 – 5p more than the traditional meat version.

Veganism was definitely the biggest food trend of 2018, and according to The Vegan Society, the amount of vegan people in the UK has quadrupled since 2014 (now around 600,000). So it’s no surprise that Marks & Spencer has kicked off 2019 by launching its first-ever vegan range.

While the supermarket has previously stocked vegan items, this is the first time it’s stocked a massive range: Plant Kitchen is a new collection of more than 60 meat and dairy-free plant-based fresh meals, salads and snacks. It includes a vegan coleslaw and potato salad, as well as the first supermarket vegan sourdough pizza.

Here at Llanelli Online we have two members of the team who happen to be vegans. What a surprise it was then to have a batch of the new vegan version of a sausage roll delivered today.

The verdict:

It looked like a sausage roll. It felt like a sausage roll and it weighed as much as a sausage roll.

It didn’t taste like a sausage roll. At least one of the team (non vegan) said it tasted better. The meat eater wasn’t as excited by the taste. The vegan on the other hand was delighted and we spent an afternoon with attempts at conversions taking place.



From Llanelli Wales. Worked in education and media for most of my career. Now working as a freelance journalist. Interested in World events, politics, education. Specialist area is social and journalistic photography.
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