More than 525,000 people have signed up for Veganuary – a non-profit movement that encourages people across the globe to take the pledge to try vegan for January. This has broken sign-up records only just days into January, surpassing last year’s total sign-ups of 400 000.
As more South Africans join this movement – and often incorporate a more plant-based lifestyle beyond just January – local retailers and food producers are rising to the challenge to offer customers more choice and variety to serve this growing interest in plant-based eating.
“South African consumers are understanding more and more that plant-based foods are an important part of a sustainable future, not just environmentally, but for their health too – and this is starting to reflect in the choices that future forward brands are making,” says Tammy Fry, Director at Fry’s.
This year the Fry Family Food Co. is an official global sponsor of Veganuary along with their sister brand Oumph!. Both brands are part of a portfolio of plant-based brands owned by the LIVEKINDLY Collective. Fry’s has been a long-term supporter of Veganuary in South Africa but this is the first year the brand has come on board as an official sponsor.
They have partnered with Pick n Pay to offer a new limited edition range of meat alternatives in South Africa from Oumph! and LikeMeat – both of which are award-winning brands, popular in Europe and the UK. These will be exclusively available in 27 Pick n Pay stores nationwide.
Nicki Russell, head of product merchandise at Pick n Pay says, “We are noticing more customers experimenting with plant-based alternatives. They want a greater choice that is more accessible and at affordable prices, so we have stepped up to deliver that. Last year we piloted dedicated plant-based destinations in selected stores – across fresh, frozen and pantry items – and it proved very popular. This year we will expand our plant-based range of PnP own brand, as well as work with other brands to bring customers more exciting products, such as the Oumph! and LikeMeat products.”
For January, customers can expect to see seven Oumph! and LikeMeat products in the frozen section of selected Pick n Pay stores. The products include LikeMeat Like Curry Chicken; LikeMeat Like Nuggets and LikeMeat Like Breaded Chicken Oumph! Smoky Bits; Oumph! Pulled Oumph; Oumph! Garlic n Thyme Chunks and Oumph! Kebab Spiced.
Donovan Will, Director of food awareness organisation ProVeg South Africa, the local NGO partner for Veganuary, is excited to see big South African brands getting on board to promote the benefits of eating more plant-based through campaigns like Veganuary. “Once consumers learn of the benefits of eating more plant-based, the first thing they ask is ‘what do we eat now’. It’s exciting to see plant-based food companies like Fry’s teaming up with Pick n Pay to answer that question by providing great options that make it easy, and tasty, for people to give Veganuary a try.”
Fry’s and Pick n Pay are encouraging customers to sign up for this year’s Veganuary. Last year South Africa came in 8th in terms of the number of sign-ups and showed a massive 80% growth in sign-ups compared to 2019. “We want to play a role in smashing all previous South African records,” says Fry.
So why are we seeing such growing support for Veganuary? Fry explains: “The movement speaks to people on multiple levels – for some, it’s the health aspect that resonates, for others, it’s the plight of the animals. Increasingly though people are quitting animal products as they are more and more aware of the impact they have on the planet.”
To participate in Veganuary, customers can sign up in the selected Pick n Pay stores by scanning the QR code in stores or join the We Love Veganuary Facebook Group which offers everything from tips, tricks, meal plans, recipes, and special offers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/weloveveganuary
The Fry Family Food Co.