The UK vegan industry is booming. According to the Vegan Society, the number of vegans in the UK has increased by 445,428 people (40%) over the past 12 months. Vegans and vegetarians look set to make up a quarter of the British population by 2025. By this point, it is predicted sales of meat-free foods will be well over £1.1bn.1
This is reflected in vegan food businesses and product offerings. All the major UK retailers offer vegan ranges ‒ Marks and Spencer has created a 31-day vegan meal plan, while Aldi, Asda and Iceland now all have vegan sections on their websites. Takeaway stalwarts such as Greggs and Pret A Manger have hugely popular vegan offerings, and Deliveroo saw the number of vegan restaurants participating in its app double over the last 12 months.2
With celebrities such as Lewis Hamilton and Fearne Cotton endorsing a vegan lifestyle, and incentives such as Veganuary attracting more new people to the lifestyle (a record 125,000 signed up to Veganuary this January according to the Vegetarian Society), this audience looks set to grow further, making it an attractive industry to target.
Here are some tips if you are planning it:
Do Your Research
Is there a market for your business in the location you are choosing? Before starting your vegan restaurant or delivery service, you need to fully scope out the audience, the competition and the opportunities and challenges to launch. All of this will help you find the right place to open and shape your marketing strategy – you’ll need to communicate your differences to potential customers to draw them in.
Provide the Detail
That communication is important for any food business, but it is even more important for a vegan organisation. Many of your customers will choose you based on your food offering, so the ingredients have to be well sourced. They all need to be communicated, as your audience is invested in these food choices. You cannot have any doubt over allergens or ingredients, as you need instil trust from your customers to improve returns and word of mouth recommendations.
Know the Rules and Regulations
You need to make sure your business complies with all UK health and safety regulations. The Food Standards Agency outlines and monitors all the standards you need to meet, from hygiene to labelling to storage. Depending on your type of offering, you may need a late licence, an outdoor licence or an alcohol licence. All of this can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.3
Choose Your Team Well
The food and hospitality industry has a high staff turnover and post-Brexit, employee shortages. Be authentic in your recruitment, hire like-minded individuals and ensure you know what they are looking for to ensure they are a happy and productive workforce with the same ethics as you.
Protect Your Business
The right insurance is vital for any food or delivery service.
You will need public liability cover, as well as employers liability, to protect your team.
Building and contents cover will protect your premises from rare events like fires, floods, storms and subsidence and cover the contents such as furniture, food, and kitchen equipment. Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to look into supplementing the above with goods in transit insurance, stock insurance, loss of money insurance, loss of licence insurance and even cyber insurance to protect against online fraud if you are running online booking systems and storing customer data.
Setting up a business in an attractive and popular industry such as this is hugely exciting. It just needs a little research to ensure all the details are correct. If you would like to discuss the right insurance policies for your potential vegan food business, get in touch on 0330 1620 965 or get a free no obligation quote now.
Quotes from well-known and specialist insurers, including: