Vending for vegans

There are different schools of thought on the estimated number of vegans in the country but what is not in dispute is that this sector of the population is growing rapidly and means a major new vending market is opening for operators.

The Vegan Society estimates around 600,000 of vegans UK-wide but a recent survey by suggested the figure could have grown to as many as 3.5 million. That means a significant percentage of the population could be living a vegan life, and even if the Vegan Society’s figure is closer to the truth, the group contends that this still represents a quadrupling of growth in four years. In fact, recent research from the society found that awareness of

what veganism stands for is spreading among the British public, with 22% of respondents knowing more about it now than they ever did growing up. Vegans live their lives with the predominant aim of excluding, as far as possible, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. Many people opt to go vegan for health reasons, to protect the environment and to sustainably feed the human race. There are many ways to embrace vegan living, yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey – as well as products such as leather and any products that are tested on animals. However, it is not always easy, as recent interviews with vegan

train commuters found. They reported having to scrutinise the fine print on labels to find all the hidden ingredients, or simply having to settle either for a bag of crisps or go without for lengthy journeys across country.

22 | What’s changed in recent years, along with the growing numbers

of vegans and the intervention of the Vegan Society, is a new-found openness to offering vegan-friendly options. In 2018 the Vegan Society targeted train companies as part of its

Vegan-on-the-Go campaign in an attempt to get more plant-based options available on UK trains. The result of this campaign is that seven out of 10 train companies now offer vegan snacks on the go for busy commuters.

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