Vegan wine boom to hit UK retail

In keeping with the vegan food boom currently sweeping across Britain, vegan wines are set to be big in UK retail this year as supermarkets cash in on the trend.

All of the wines in the Co-op’s Truly Irresistible range are vegan-friendly

As reported by The Guardian, the Co-op has ambitious plans to increase its vegan wine range to 100 labels by the end of the year, eight of which will launch next month.

The supermarket has been working with winemakers around the globe to develop a range of vegan-friendly fining agents used to filter wines and improve the clarity of the final drop.

These agents have traditionally been made from animal products like egg whites, casein, gelatin and isinglass, which is extracted from the swim bladders of fish.

An emotive Veganuary poster

Among the vegan-friendly fining agents used in the Co-ops vegan wines are peas, potatoes and carbon and clay-based agents.

“We are anticipating vegan wines to pick up momentum in 2018, so our range will be expanding throughout the year and we will continue to challenge suppliers to make wines vegan where they can without affecting the attributes of the liquid,” Simon Cairns, the Co-op’s wine category trading manager, told The Guardian.

Last October Majestic added vegan and vegetarian symbols to its wine labels and on its website to help vegan wine lovers find drops that are suited to them. The retailer currently boasts 32 vegan-friendly wines in its portfolio.

The Vegan Society reports that there are now 542,000 vegans in the UK and nearly half are aged between 15 and 34.

According to the BBC, a record 50,000 people have signed up to take part in ‘Veganuary’ this month, which encourages people to ditch meat, fish, eggs and dairy in January. The campaign has attracted widespread support from UK restaurants and bars.

We predicted in our Top 10 Food and Drinks Trends for 2018 feature that 2018 will be the year that vegan and plant-based eating goes mainstream in the UK.

Further proof that the vegan food boom is gathering momentum is Tesco’s decision to launch a range of vegan-friendly meals, wraps and salads under the ‘Wicked Collection’ brand in 600 stores nationwide from today.

The range was developed by former Whole Foods chef Derek Sarno, who was taken on by Tesco last year to be the store’s ‘director of plant-based innovation’.

Also keen to be in on the vegan food trend, Sainsbury’s and Aldi have both recently released new vegan food ranges.

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