McDonald’s, has announced the launch of its first ever vegan meal, which will go on sale from 2nd January 2020.

Following on from the likes of Greggs and KFC, McDonald’s is introducing its Veggie Dippers which are made from red pepper, rice, sundried tomato pesto and split peas.

Thomas O’Neill, head of food marketing at McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: “In the last 12 months we’ve seen an 80% uplift in customers ordering vegetarian options at McDonald’s, so it is time for the brand famous for the dippable McNugget to launch a dippable option for our vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian customers. The Veggie Dippers are a delicious addition to our menu and we’re looking forward to seeing what customers make of our first vegan Extra Value Meal and Happy Meal in the New Year.”

Retail shopping app, Ubamarket has conducted nationally representative research from a sample of over 2,000 UK adults to reveal how our dietary trends are changing, which it believes are starting to reshape the whole retail and hospitality industry.

The research showed:

  • Brits spend £25 per week on vegetarian and vegan products, totalling £1.3 billion a year
  • 36% of meat-eaters, representing 18.97 million Brits, are buying vegetarian and vegan specialist products
  • 23% – 11.77 million – are stocking up gluten-free meals despite not having any intolerance
  • 31% of Brits – 16.08 million – are eating more vegetarian and vegan meals than ever before
  • A quarter of shoppers, or 12.77 million Brits, say supermarket layouts make shopping for meat-free products difficult
  • 32% of Brits – 16.72 million – are consciously trying to eat less meat, for reasons ranging from their health to the environmental impact of the agriculture industry
  • 26% of Brits said that trends like Veganuary and Sugar Awareness Week are shaping their shopping habit

Will Broome, CEO and Founder of Ubamarket: said: “Some of the biggest restaurants and food chains are continuing to introduce more vegan options into their mainstream offerings.

“These industries seem to be responding positively to consumer demand and are becoming even more aware of the increase in vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian diets.

“When it comes to retail, it would be beneficial for stores to incorporate vegan and vegetarian products into the general layout of a store rather than relegating them to a few shelves in the corner. Our research has shown that shoppers find it difficult to locate specialty items in-store, leading to frustration and confusion. The importance of having systems in place that grant freedom for shoppers to make their own dietary decisions has never been more apparent. With easier ways to identify important allergens and ingredients on labels, more convenient store layouts and a smoother shopping format, consumers will be able to subscribe to alternative diets with ease.”