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At The GoodNet, we work with many brand categories, but one that we’ve seen emerge more recently is the growth in brands promoting meat free alternatives and dairy free products to an ethical consumer audience.

According to the Vegan Society, consumers following a vegan diet has quadrupled in the past decade, with one third of brits vowing to cut back on animal products. In 2023 one in eight people took on the Veganuary craze, promising to stick to a meat and dairy free diet throughout January, showcasing the rise in people looking for healthier, and planet friendly food choices.  

In this blog post, we look at how meat free benefits our environment, brands that are leading the charge and finally where you can learn more…

Here are our main three takeaways:

  1. A meat and dairy free diet can have a huge impact on our planet; If everyone moved to a non-dairy milk alternative, the level of greenhouse gases omitted would be two thirds lower.
  2. Vegan does not mean boring! Mainstream and start up brands are launching exciting meat and dairy free alternatives, from H!P chocolate to household names like Marks and Spencer.
  3. There are is a wealth of education out there and multiple ethical publishers help guide ethical consumers a more planet friendly diet, from how vegan cheese is made through to the best restaurants to go to to get your vegan fix.

How is going meat free benefiting the environment?

 In a recent study by Oxford University, they showcase that a Vegan diet has the potential to reduce food-related emissions by up to a whopping 73%. But why is the mainstream diet so harmful to our environment?

Livestock farming is a leading cause of greenhouse gases due to aspects like fermentation and manure management, having a huge impact on our climate everyday. The demand for agriculture also leads to deforestation as tracts of land are cleared to create grazing areas and produce animal feed, meaning ecosystems around the world are destroyed. And finally, the food system is responsible for 70% of the world’s freshwater use and 78% of the world’s freshwater pollution, which affects our environment.

The impact of eating meat and dairy every day is huge, and even a small commitment to meat and dairy free alternatives can have a lasting impact. If over the course of the year you skipped meat and cheese one day a week, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for five whole weeks and if everyone moved to a non-dairy milk alternative, the level of greenhouse gases omitted would be two thirds lower.

Who are the brands leading the way in this space?

The surge in demand for vegan products has driven innovation in multiple industries, from food to beauty. These are brands that are championing vegan products that cater to both ethical consumers and those seeking healthier alternatives, not just those who are undertaking a fully vegan diet.

From established giants to innovative start-ups, these brands are redefining the boundaries of traditional products. Here’s a glimpse into some standout names that are leading the charge with their vegan alternatives.

 Mainstream Giants:

  1. Beyond Meat: This industry trailblazer has changed the way we perceive plant-based protein. Beyond Meat’s offerings, like their Beyond Burger, sausages, and ground meat, have successfully captured the taste and texture of meat, attracting not only vegans but also meat enthusiasts looking to reduce their environmental footprint.
  1. Green Kitchen from Marks and Spencer: A testament to the growing demand for meat free options, Green Kitchen offers a diverse range of ready-made vegan meals and is front and centre on the M&S shelves!

New Innovators:

  1. H!P Chocolate: This artisanal chocolate brand has carved a niche in the vegan dessert market. H!P’s commitment to high-quality ingredients and ethically sourced cocoa has garnered a loyal following.
  1. Upcircle: Even beauty brands are following the trend with start-up Up circle, diverting away from the usual derived from animal ingredients and using only Vegan and cruelty free ingredients to make their skincare products.

What ethical media can I read to learn more?

Our favourite ethical media is providing insight and education on a meat and dairy free diet, and how you can take steps towards adopting a vegan diet.

From The Guardian, talking about the benefits of a vegan diet to our environment, Treehugger, informing consumers of how vegan products are made, Livefrankly showcasing London’s best vegan restaurants or even something as simple as the best of vegan, so that you can try out some tasty vegan recipes yourself!   

In summary

The growth of a meat and dairy diet reflects a shift in our collective consciousness towards more ethical, sustainable, and healthier choices. With the mounting evidence of its positive impact on the environment and personal well-being, the choice to become vegan, or even a simple choice to substitute meat for their alternatives becomes an obvious one.

Through working with The GoodNet, brands can reach ethical consumers who are x4 time more likely to be interested in meat free alternatives, and a huge 60% of our audience are more likely to be interested in vegan products than the national average.