Veganuary Marketing: How Food Brands Can Reach Gen Z

Veganuary 2022 is around the corner. How can your brand maximise its potential to reach Gen Z? Here’s all you need to know.
Fanbytes | Veganuary

In 30 seconds:

  • Veganuary is around the corner. We’ll take you through why your brand should be shouting about this meatless month.
  • Young people are 6 to 7 times more likely to be following a vegetarian or vegan diet. After this article, you’ll know why and how you should be targeting Gen Z for Veganuary.
  • New year, new me. We’ve listed the best ways to get your brand speaking directly to vegans for the beginning of 2022.

It’s almost Veganuary

Yes, it’s almost January too, but we’re focusing on the month’s plant-based resolution. And we aren’t the only ones. 

At least a third of the population are now eating a meat-reduced diet, meaning Veganuary is rising in popularity. It comes at a time when people are looking to be healthy (hello, New Year‘s Resolutions!) and promotes more thoughtful cooking. 

2021 was a big year for vegans. 2022 will be even bigger.

The rise of veganism

Many people are transitioning to a vegan diet. The number of vegans in the UK quadrupled between 2014 and 2019 and has continuously risen since. 

There are various reasons why. The pandemic caused many people to think about their lifestyle choices, and a total of 49% of those interested in cutting down their meat consumption said they would do so for health reasons. 

The rise in information on animal welfare in the meat industry has also led people to make the change. Climate issues are a top factor, too, with more and more individuals wanting to reduce their carbon footprint. In the UK, the meat alternatives market has risen by 16.3% to £659.9m over the past year. The Grocer wrote a whole article on the situation here.  

Whichever way you look at it, it’s clear that veganism is on the up. And who’s the generation at the top? Gen Z, of course.

Why Gen Z are going vegan

The youngest generation is looking to the future. Burgers are out, and beets are in (the purple kind). 

Over a third of Generation Z wanted to be meat-free by 2021. 

This age group is also the most aware of the climate crisis. 87.5% worry about the impact of climate change. Cutting out meat and dairy products could reduce a person’s carbon footprint by two-thirds, and Gen Z have clocked on. 

It’s not just their personal choices they expect to change either. 90% of Gen Z believe companies and brands must help social and environmental issues. So they’re looking for *you* to make changes, too. 

These factors make Gen Z one of the prime candidates for Veganuary. So let’s get our teeth into this campaign and how your brand can get in on the action. 

Why does Veganuary exist?

Veganuary is a free 31-day online vegan-pledge challenge. Doing “Veganuary” means cutting out all animal products for the month of January and eating a plant-based diet. It was designed to promote veganism and show people how easy it can be. 

The best thing about it? It works. 

82% of people who tried Veganuary have drastically cut meat intake. The challenge has taken the UK by storm through community-building celebrity associations and endorsements, political engagement, and normalisation.

Veganuary in numbers:

In case the reasons behind Veganuary aren’t illuminating enough, we got our calculators out. These Veganuary statistics show just how important this month-long challenge is:

  • In 2021, record numbers (500,000+ people) pledged to eat only vegan food in January
  • In 2021 259 new vegan menus were added to (chain-) restaurants for Veganuary
  • The UK has the best sign up rate of veganuary participants with 582,538 sign ups in 2021 alone. 
  • Almost two-thirds (61%) maintained a fully-vegan diet for the whole month in 2021
  • Before participating in Veganuary, 30% planned to stay vegan at the end of their pledge, but 40% now plan to maintain a vegan lifestyle after participating.

The numbers tell a story. Veganuary is transformative. 

Your brand needs to be involved, especially if looking to target Gen Z. So grab your juicer and get ready to digest the best ways to market your brand for Veganuary and how to get in front of the freshest generation yet. 

How to market for Veganuary and reach Gen Z

We’ve got a few ideas for you to use when building your Veganuary marketing campaign. They are tried, tested and tantalisingly on-point for the younger generations. 

Fanbytes | new vegan product

1. Release a new product

You don’t have to be a vegan food company to get in on Veganuary. But you do have to cater to it. One of the best ways is to create new vegan products, or vegan options for your popular products. Making it the centre of attention at the start of the year is a sure way to increase traffic and sales. 

For Veganuary 2021, there were 439 new plant-based product launches. Lindt is releasing two new vegan oat milk chocolate bars for Veganuary 2022. It’s undoubtedly an exciting time for brands to build on the vegan market. 

55% of Gen Z are more open to trying new brands (compared to 46% of millennials). So they’ll be at the front of the queue when it comes to trying new things.

Fanbytes | veganuary pledge

2. Make a pledge

The decisions you make are vital in influencing your customers – especially Gen Z. That’s why encouraging your staff and colleagues to do Veganuary is a brilliant way of showing your support for the number of people going meat-free in 2022. 

Last year, Marco Settembri, CEO of Nestlé (Europe, Middle East and North Africa), did Veganuary himself and urged the rest of the company to do the same. Other big brands like Bloomberg and supermarket M&S took note, encouraging their own staff. 

Gen Z are notoriously canny about finding out information about companies, so practice what you preach. Promoting this movement undoubtedly helped these brands market their plant-based products and spread the benefits of going meat-free, while being regarded as genuine.

Fanbytes | provide vegan inspo

3. Provide Inspo

Putting out vegan food inspiration is key to your success. Get your creative caps on and think about what Veganuary recipes, vegan meal plans and ideas you can produce to get people’s taste buds tingling. 

Cauldron Foods created a whole section of vegan recipes on their website for Veganuary. You can do the same now to get ahead of the action. 

But where is the most powerful place to air your Veganuary ideas?

Social media, of course.

How to nail Veganuary on social media

97% of Gen Z consumers say they now use social media as their top source of shopping inspiration. Your food brand needs to reach them. With over half of this generation being on TikTok, this platform takes the (dairy-free) cake for Veganuary marketing. Here are our top tips on how to get it right:

Fanbytes | vegan recipe

1. Promote recipes

Getting quick, snappy recipes up on TikTok (and other social media apps) is a fast-track way to engage your audience and promote your brand. 

#veganuary has over 228.8 million views on TikTok. Whether it’s smoothie bowls, tofu stir-frys or overnight oats, vegans and non-vegans alike search for recipe inspo throughout Veganuary

Fanbytes | work with a vegan influencer

2. Work with a vegan influencer

70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. This is why influencer marketing is so powerful for brands targeting Gen Z. Companies are finding ways of using social media influencers for their strategies at notable times of the year. Veganuary is no different. 

There are oodles of brilliant vegan influencers on social media. We wrote about the creme de la creme in our article: Top 10 Vegan TikTokers.

The most important thing is to find the right one for your brand. Make sure any influencer you work with is perfect for your brand and ethos. We at Fanbytes have a particular passion for matchmaking brands with influencers (we like to think we know the right flavours to put together). We’ve created an industry-leading tool called Bytesights that helps us understand precisely what each influencer can offer.

Fanbytes | Create a trend

3. Create a trend

It’s time to think creatively. 35% of Gen Z believes that user-generated content (UGC) will have more credibility in the next 3-5 years than content created by a company or independent source. That’s why it’s so crucial for you to use it in your social media marketing. Brands constantly use hashtags and UGC to build brand awareness. It’s time for you to do the same. 

Create a Veganuary challenge for your users, perhaps finding a vegan alternative to something or using your product in a specific way. This will allow them to get involved and share your brand organically. TikTok users especially love challenges, so veganuary and TikTok challenges go hand-in-hand.

Start cooking up some content ideas and get your brand in the lead on Veganuary

We put together some easy ideas for vegan food brands to get started on TikTok in our article here.

Serving Veganuary up

So now you know the best ways to reach Gen Z, it’s time to get your Veganuary marketing campaign on point. 

This month of no animal products is growing. Right now is the perfect time to nurture it and help it expand whilst promoting engagement to your brand. 

So put your fresh veganuary content out there to promote veganism and help win the hearts of Gen Z as they try vegan this January. If you feel a tornado is brewing in the kitchen, don’t worry; we’ve got you. 

We know how to make food brands go viral on TikTok. We also know precisely how to get vegan brands started on the app and exactly what you need to do to stop Gen Z scrolling and get them to fall in love with your brand.

Looking for more advice? Get in touch, and we’ll talk you through how we can help your brand create the perfect campaign for the youngest generation.

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To find out how Fanbytes can help you connect with a Gen Z Audience, fill in the form to get in touch!

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