January is an important time of the year for food brands, and with the huge success of Greggs’ Vegan Sausage Rolls in 2019, many brands were keen to jump on the Veganuary hype.
Although most came with good intentions – increasing their customer base and giving non-meat eaters more options – they sometimes missed the mark.
This just goes to prove that although you might have a great idea, it pays to spend some time making sure it can be implemented and rolled out correctly.
Here’s my round-up of all things Veganuary:
Wagamama’s Tuna Steak - HOT
Never one to mince his words, Piers Morgan is often en garde to offer his two cents on the latest vegan products releases – remember his tirade about Gregg’s plant based sausage roll last year? – and this year it was Wagamamas’ turn. The marmite TV presenter couldn’t quite work out why the words ‘vegan’ and ‘tuna’ were next to each other in the dish’s name, but that only meant more publicity for the revolutionary new meal.
McDonald’s Vegan Wraps – NOT
Plant based foodies were keen to see what fast food giant McDonalds had up their sleeve for Veganuary this year, but when the product was announced, an uproar on social media ensued. Most complaints surrounded the fact the multi-million pound corporation were simply using the same product as their usual Veggie option, just in a different shape. So try harder next time, McDonald’s!
Greggs’ Vegan Steak Bake – HOT
Greggs are seasoned professionals when it comes to vegan launches and were simply looking to replicate the success of their famous vegan sausage roll. This year, they launched a vegan steak bake which earned a huge number of coverage items across all types of media, and it has been reported that they struggled to meet the huge demand for the new vegan delicacy. Employees will be hoping this is good news and that there’ll be a repeat of their £300 bonuses in 2019 due to an increase in sales.
KFC’s Zero Chicken Burger – NOT
KFC have perhaps made the biggest slip up this Veganuary. They had to issue a quick press release and admit they’d been selling chicken burgers instead of their new vegan burgers, leaving their customers unsurprisingly shocked and disappointed.
Subway’s Vegan Meatball Marinara – HOT
Subway’s signature sub has been joined by a vegan relative incorporating the tangy tomato sauce with vegan cheese and plant-based meatballs. Vegans across the land hailed it as one of the biggest Veganuary successes and hope it won’t be disappearing from the menu any time soon.
Burger King’s Rebel Whopper – NOT
Burger King produced a vegan dish which would surely hit the mark, providing vegans with the perfect offering from the ‘King of Burgers’ – or so they thought. It was soon revealed that Burger King were cooking the Rebel Whopper on the same grills as their other meat burgers, meaning vegans and vegetarians were probably going to swerve this dish.
Musclefood’s Vegan Do The Unthinkable – HOT
Our client musclefood launched the UK’s first ever complete vegan diet and fitness programme, meaning vegans – or wannabe vegans – can get their plant-based meals delivered to their doorsteps, taking the stress out of eating vegan at home.
Pizza Hut’s Pepperphoni Pizza – NOT
From a commercial perspective it’s a great idea – fake meat and vegan cheese on top of Pizza Hut’s signature pizza base, what’s not to love? The problem here is that there didn’t seem to be a big marketing/PR push compared to the other brands, so Pizza Hut’s offering seemed to fall between the cracks. It’s all in the execution!