Forget cheese, says the Veganuary campaign: the item vegans miss the most is milk chocolate.
In a survey of 1,368 respondents carried out in September, milk chocolate was cited as the treat vegans crave the most. This finding comes in contrast to the popular belief that the nation’s ‘ubiquitous love of cheese’ is the main factor preventing many people from trying a vegan diet.
Respondents were given a choice of eight options, including cheesy snacks and chocolate treats. They were asked to select the one they’d most like to ‘veganize’. The charity says Veganuary supporters ‘overwhelmingly’ chose Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (28% of votes), followed by Mars Bar with 14% of votes and Chocolate Hobnobs with 12%.
The cheesy item with the highest rating was Walker’s cheese and onion crisps, coming in at 10% of votes. Cottage cheese received only 9%, while Babybel – an organic variant of which already exists on the market – came last with just 7% of votes.
According to Toni Vernelli, head of communications at Veganuary, the results ‘reveal a golden opportunity for natural brands to capitalize on hungry sweet-toothed vegans and release more healthy vegan versions of classic chocolate treats’.
“But they need to act fast as major brands – including Hellman’s, Richmond, Magnum and Walls – are quickly catching on to the plant-based craze and releasing vegan versions of their bestselling products,” she says, adding that the results should be a ‘stark wake up call’ to companies such as Cadbury’s, Mars and McVities, which are missing out on a ‘huge potential market’ of vegan customers.
NPN has since learnt that, under the Galaxy label, Mars has launched a vegan version of its milk chocolate bar. Bringing to market three flavours of Galaxy Vegan (Smooth Orange, Caramel & Sea Salt and Caramelised Hazelnut), Mars claims it is the first ‘major’ chocolate brand to offer a vegan alternative.