"Veganuary": Vegan alternatives are booming - but meat is still eaten

The Veganuary campaign leads to a run on plant-based foods in Switzerland in January. Nevertheless, consumers do not want to give up meat - sales remain stable.

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This is shown by a non-representative survey of Swiss retailers and wholesalers conducted by the Keystone-SDA news agency. The decline in meat consumption is more of a long-term trend. In January, meat sales were at a low point, but not to a similar extent as the increase in sales of vegan products stimulated by sales promotions, the retailers note.

The international Veganuary campaign, which has been running since 2014, calls on people to eat vegan in January. At Coop, demand for vegan alternatives always rises sharply during this campaign month. This is also the case this year, says the retailer's spokesman Caspar Frey.

However, Coop is not selling less meat. "In previous years, we have not noticed any impact of Veganuary on meat consumption. We assume that this will also be the case this year," he explains.

In general, the decline in meat sales affected pork and veal in particular. Demand for poultry meat has risen steadily in recent years.

Awareness of nutrition is growing

"January is traditionally not a very meat-heavy time," emphasizes Migros spokesman Tristan Cerf. However, he says it is still too early to see any clear trends this year. "In general and in the long term, we are seeing a decrease in the volume of meat sold, but a higher proportion of higher quality meat with added value, such as a label," he adds.

On the other hand, it goes without saying that higher sales of alternatives to animal proteins lead to lower sales of the corresponding meat products, Cerf explains. "In general, we sell a lot more plant-based products in January than usual," says the Migros spokesperson. This is probably due to the strong attention around Veganuary and the growing awareness of the topic of nutrition in general, he suspects.

After feasting the holidays

After the holidays, many customers want to eat more consciously, which also benefits the vegan and vegetarian diet. "It's also exciting that around Veganuary, many customers who don't normally shop in this area try out plant-based products," the spokesperson notes.

For Cerf, experience shows that demand for products with plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy declines somewhat after January, but the trend is parallel throughout the year.

"As a supplier and wholesaler, it is natural for us to benefit from the worldwide Veganuary campaign, as it offers many opportunities," says Prodega spokeswoman Christine Strahm. "Not only in January, but also beyond." According to the spokeswoman, sales of plant-based products are developing at a gratifyingly high level.

However, the number of customers eating a vegan diet is in the low single-digit percentage range. A noticeable decline in sales of meat products is therefore not to be expected.

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