South Africa saw a record-breaking number of sign-ups to Veganuary this year, marking the tenth year of the global pledge to try a vegan diet for the month of January. According to ProVeg South Africa, approximately 38 new plant-based products were released in the country last month.
This increase in plant-based products has made it easier for South Africans to stick to their New Year’s resolutions of making healthier choices. Several food companies have offered new plant-based products or specials nationwide throughout the month, encouraging people to expand their thinking around food.
Woolworths, the largest supermarket chain in South Africa, recently launched its new PlantLove range, a wide range of vegan products ranging from the prepared meals section all the way to the cheese aisle. They encouraged their newsletter subscribers to take part in the challenge, stating that they wanted to partner with their customers by making their well-being journey easy and achievable.
Vida e caffè, a coffee chain, offered special deals on Meatless Mondays during January and promoted Veganuary in their stores nationwide, and Kauai, a quick-service restaurant chain, offered several in-store and app specials, encouraged sign-ups through their newsletter, and promoted their Smart Meals Plant Powered Plan which is 100% plant-based.
Smaller companies also contributed to Veganuary with new and improved products or specials to invite South Africans to expand their thinking around food. Manufacturers like Güdness Plant Based Deli, Infinite Foods, Outcast Foods, Simply Delish, Urban Vegan, OKJA, Red Espresso, Pesto Princess, and On The Green Side all came to the table with new product offerings.
Some of the new product highlights in and around Veganuary included Buttanutt’s new Chocolate Oat Milk, three new plant milks from Wellness Warehouse along with several snacks, and a range of plant-based ready meal products and snacks from Pick n Pay.
For those that missed Veganuary or took the challenge and would like to continue their plant-based food journey, The ProVeg Veggie Challenge is the perfect solution, says ProVeg South Africa.
This is a free 30-day challenge to try eating more plant-based. Individuals can choose their challenge of choice, choosing between a vegan, vegetarian, or reduced meat intake challenge. After signing up, individuals will receive daily emails with handy tips and recipes.
According to Veganuary, a vegan diet is the most environmentally friendly diet. They calculated that one person eating a vegan diet for a month will “save 124 900 litres of water, 84 square metres of forest and 273 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide emissions”, making it more effective than giving up a car for a month.
Donovan Will, ProVeg South Africa country director, stated that “Most South Africans love eating meat, so trying something like Veganuary might seem like a big sacrifice. But once they try a good meat replacement product they’re at least open to trying to replace some of their meat with plant-based options.”