AllPlants advocating 'plant power' in Veganuary and beyond

Co-op launched its own vegan range this month, Boots is heavily promoting its extended vegan meal deal range, and Greggs has just unveiled a new vegan steak bake.

Indeed, plenty of UK retail businesses are pushing vegan food and drink products throughout the month, as the start of new year once again sees many consumers change their dietary habits after a food and drink binge over the festive period.

Like ‘Dry January’, a public health campaign that encourages people to give up alcohol for the month, ‘Veganuary’ has emerged as a popular pursuit at this time of year. Veganuary is a UK non-profit organisation encouraging people to go vegan for January in order to promote a vegan lifestyle – it has been running since 2014 and it is gaining traction.

The Vegan Society says there were 600,000 vegans in the UK in 2018, but with various analyst groups last year suggesting growing interest in plant-based diets that figure is likely to be on the rise. One company set to benefit from that – especially at this time of year – is AllPlants, a UK online subscription service selling frozen plant-based dishes.

AllPlants is based in North London and serves customers across the UK, delivering chef-cooked meals straight to subscribers’ and one-off customers’ doors.

Chloe Watt, marketing partner at AllPlants, says: “Everyone was going mad about Black Friday, but I was thinking Black Friday is really not a thing for us – that’s actually when it quietens down.

“We have a big pick-up in January – it’s our biggest month.”

Growing momentum

AllPlants was formed in 2016 by brothers, Alex and JP Petrides, who wanted to create a brand that has a positive impact on the environment and which made plant-based meals easy to access.

There are already several subscription box food services operating in the UK, notably Hello Fresh and Gousto, but AllPlants’ unique selling point is its plant-based ingredients. The chefs work on making plant-based meals fun and flavoursome, and have recently added a dessert range to the company’s lunches and dinners.

Watt says AllPlants is “riding a wave” of growing interest in plant-based diets, and she says the business believes that trend is set to continue.

“As people are waking up to the climate emergency, and understanding that from where we put our vote to what we’re eating in our home they can make a difference, there has been a large surge in sales – even ahead of January,” she notes.

“The tide is turning and it’s a good place to be.”

Newly refurbished kitchen facilities, complete with office space, are now in place in Walthamstow, and the company raised £7.5 million in 2018 through a Series A funding round, led by private equity group and Graze backer, Octopus Ventures.

“We’re gearing up to serve and power the next billion people to go plant based – that’s our mission,” Watt explains.

“We deliver all over the UK, and in 2020 we’ll be looking into Europe and expanding from there.”