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Tracy West: retail commentator
11 January, 2019

Happy New Year to you all. I was going to begin the year with a look at trends but, if you were to believe all the hype, the biggest trend of all seems to be veganism.

I say this because I was in my local Sainsbury's right at the beginning of January and saw rows and rows of vegan Magnums. They are made from pea protein-based ice cream mmm sounds delicious, but I don't think I'll be trying them.

Then there's Greggs, known for its sausage rolls, which has launched vegan 'sausage' rolls. The best bit about this is a 'fake news' story going around saying people have complained because they don't contain any vegans.

Now personally, I've nothing against people being vegan it's their choice after all. What I object to however is that being vegan is, in some quarters, seen as 'being normal' and the rest of us are all beastly brutes for eating anything that's derived from an animal.

Despite the heavy promotion of vegan products, the Vegan Society states that there are only 600,000 vegans in Great Britain, which amounts to just 1.16% of the population.

There's no doubt the numbers are growing. The Society says the number of vegans back in 2014 was just 150,000.

I expect many people will be trying veganism this month to support the Veganuary campaign.

While many may have been vegetarian for years and think veganism is the next natural step, research shows that a lot of them cannot maintain a vegan diet and quickly switch back. With many vegetarians, it's bacon that they just can't resist and which tempts them back to the dark side. With vegans, I imagine it's all the restrictions around what you can and can't eat.

Finally one thing I don't get about vegetarianism or veganism is why, when these people have given up meat, do they want to eat made-up meat ie a veggie burger that bleeds when you cut into it or a fishless fish finger.

That said, I know a vegan who happily sits on a leather sofa every evening and thinks there's nothing wrong with that!


As the Government is urged to publish its plans for E10 by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Bioethanol, would you welcome the introduction of E10 as the right next step in cutting automotive carbon emissions?