Waitrose, one of the UK’s “big five” supermarket chains, has announced that searches for “vegan Christmas food” on its website are up by 188 percent compared to last year’s figures.
As a result of the upward trend, the high-end grocer is anticipating its most successful vegan Christmas period to date.
A spokesperson for Waitrose revealed that specific search terms are driving the spike in traffic. Consumers hunting for “vegan roast potatoes” appear to have increased by 166 percent. Meanwhile, enquiries for “vegan panettone” have risen by 110 percent on last year.
To cater to its increasingly vegan-curious and fully plant-based clientele, the supermarket has unveiled its biggest animal-free festive range yet. Included in the 20+ items are Thai Style No Fishcakes and other finger foods. All are part of a multi-buy party food promotion.
Vegan demand at Waitrose
In addition to its groceries sector, Waitrose has reported significant interest in vegan options through two of its other channels. The Waitrose Entertaining department, which prepares ready-to-serve foods for customers, has apparently seen orders for meat-free dishes increase by almost half. This figure is expected to rise further before the end of the year.
“I am delighted we are now able to provide a vegan option for every course and with vegan and vegetarian Waitrose Entertaining orders up 49 percent compared to last year, I have no doubt that this category will continue to go from strength to strength,” Simona Cohen-Vida-Welsh, vegan product developer for Waitrose, said in a statement.
Simultaneously, home cooks are looking to Waitrose for vegan inspiration. A rise in the number of people searching for nut wellington and vegan Yorkshire pudding recipes has been observed. The latter alone has seen a 94 percent increase.
Vegan Christmas food at UK supermarkets
Waitrose isn’t the only UK supermarket chain upping its plant-based festive range.
Notably, Asda unveiled its largest-ever plant-based lineup this year, featuring 97 products. As well as traditional items, including roasting joints and Christmas pudding, increasingly inventive recipes have been added. These include nondairy breaded brie and chocolate truffles.