Retail Trends 2020


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South Africans go plant-based for Veganuary

More than 14,000 South Africans have officially signed up to partake in this year's Veganuary campaign, joining 350,000 other people across more than 150 countries pledging to try veganism for the month of January.

The global campaign was started by UK non-profit organisation Veganuary in 2014, with participation more than doubling each year. Those signing up are driven to do so for a variety of different reasons, whether related to animal welfare, environmental concerns or dietary preferences.

The annual event encourages the public to kickstart their year by trialling a plant-based diet for the month – and beyond that if the lifestyle resonates with them.

After sign-up on, participants receive a 31-day email series with information on health, lifestyle, how to shop as a vegan, restaurants, cosmetics, workshops, events, and recipes. This is supplemented with social media content – including a Facebook support group – and a website filled with supportive resources.

In 2019, South Africa had the fifth-highest number of signs ups to Veganuary, with Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban all appearing in the top 20 cities – at number 3, 4 and 14 respectively. This generates little surprise, if judged only by the influx of plant-based options on retail shelves and in restaurants in SA’s main cities.

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Awareness and support

According to Veganuary, the campaign is focused on changing consumer behaviours and attitudes, while providing all the information and practical support required to make the transition to veganism as easy and as enjoyable as possible through the month.

As part of campaign efforts, Veganuary encourages brands, manufacturers and retailers to expand their plant-based options. Globally, more than 500 businesses took part in last year’s event and more than 200 plant-based products and menus were launched.

To generate awareness and encourage participation, Veganuary works with public personalities like celebrities, athletes, chefs, influencers and some brands. Local businesses on board this year include Pick n Pay, The Fry Family Food Co., Clover’s Good Hope Soy and Hudsons Burger Joint.

Likewise, Southern African foodie Chef Cola, founder of African Vegan on a Budget and feeder of the all-female wildlife conservation unit Akashinga, is also supporting the event alongside Angelique Gerber Potgieter, a South African actress, wellness and beauty influencer, and wife to former Springbok player Jacques Potgieter.

About Lauren Hartzenberg

Retail editor and lifestyle contributor at Cape Town apologist. Food fanatic. Dog mom. Get in touch:
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