Britain is Not Quite Committing to a Vegan Diet says Waitrose Report

Trend of “Mindful” Shoppers Wanting to Purchase Eco-Friendly Products

The recently released Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2019 has identified a clear trend of “Mindful Shoppers” choosing eco-friendly products and a British nation that is tending towards a vegan diet without fully committing. 

The report is a deep drill into the food habits of the middle-classes who are deeply loyal to the shopping at Waitrose experience. It is a snapshot of the British food purchasing mindset.

Other identified trends are that we are turning our backs on unnecessary packaging and using ingredients to make certain foods ourselves. With an increase of tahini sales of 700% this year, it is highly likely that people are making their own homemade hummus. 

Additionally grains, noodles, seaweed, luxury frozen foods and “posh crumpets” have proved very popular. 

The supermarket chain has seen sales of celery juice increase 30% each year mainly due to “Instagram influencers”.

Vegan ready meals have increased in sales and now sell more than vegetarian pre-prepared meals.

Seagans: it’s a Thing!

The report identifies a clear trend towards another interesting category of diet type: the so-called “seagan”.

“Seaganism” is defined in the report as a “vegan, or plant-based diet, with added sustainable seafood”. In other words, some so-called vegans are choosing to add a little “sustainable seafood”.

Obviously, if you are a seagan you are by definition not a vegan. You are certainly “vegan-friendly” or “predominantly vegan” but most certainly not “vegan”.

This regime is described as “baby steps for middle-grounders” with the benefit of extra variety and easy omega-3s.

Eating fish may be good for you, assuming that you can source some fish that has come from a non-polluted area. That is very difficult nowadays. But there is no doubt that any such benefits can be compensated for by a vegan eating a balanced diet. 

This diet is called “plant-based eating with a catch”. It’s a ‘cheat’ of fish several times a week” according to the book Seagan Eating by Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey.

Mussels are the preferred sustainable seafood of many. If you are a Waitrose shopping seagan then you may be tempted by some “seacuterie” such as salmon pastrami and swordfish ham.

An increase in Kindness detected

Waitrose’s Managing Director, Rob Collins said in the introduction to the report that “kindness can be underrated” and that “underpinning all this is the sense that life’s pendulum is swinging away from materialism and towards a desire for people to share memorable experiences with loved ones”.

The report referred to “a rise in compassion and simplicity in British lifestyles. It seems that, as the world beyond our front doors becomes increasingly complicated, people are doubling down on the things that really matter. Households are decluttering to focus on the values – and people – that mean the most to them.”

The four major trends uncovered are that Britons are moving towards a simpler existence, they are spending mindfully, they have a passion for compassion and they are cutting clutter.

It’s a perfect framework within which veganism can flourish, even if that final commitment is not quite there yet.

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Jill Harris

Jill is a writer, teacher, and passionate vegan. An eclectic author, she has published four non-fiction books and five novels. She began her vegan journey in 2015. She is a graduate and former lecturer at the Open University in psychology. Contact:
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