You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Plant-based eaters face ‘vegan premium’ for food

Written by: Emma Lunn
Vegans are facing higher levels of food inflation than people who eat animal products, according to an investigation.

A study by the Evening Standard newspaper found that higher levels of inflation at the checkout for vegan food makes it more expensive to switch to plant-based foods.

The Evening Standard analysed more than 100 different vegan products at Tesco, Asda and Iceland. It found that prices have risen by an average of 18% for vegan products over the past year. It said this is “significantly higher” than the average grocery price inflation estimated by retail analytics firm Kantar.

Figures released by Kantar in November 2022 suggested grocery prices had gone up by 14.7% compared to the same period the previous year.

According to the newspaper, the price of vegan pizzas has risen 42%, while vegan meat alternatives are up 23% and vegan cheese is up 28%. Vegan ice cream is up 19% and vegan milk rose 25%.

By contrast, the price of fresh fruit and vegetables, from which the vegan products are made, have risen at a much slower pace, up 6.2% and 11.4% respectively, according to consumer price data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Claire Ogley, The Vegan Society head of campaigns, policy and research, told the Standard: “There does appear to be a ‘vegan premium’ on some products — it would be a shame if [that] put anyone off trying a lifestyle that is kinder to animals and more environmentally friendly.

“Supermarkets should try to incentivise more sustainable choices through ensuring prices are matched or lower than animal product alternatives.”

Meat substitutes

A healthy, well-balanced vegan diet contains a variety of grains, pulses, fruit and vegetables. But for many, including those new to veganism, meat and dairy alternatives also have their part to play. It is these ‘meat alternatives’ which are seeing the biggest price rises. This means vegans can save money if they ditch vegan products like meat-free sausages in favour of whole foods like legumes, grains, nuts, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Some vegan products appear to have risen exceptionally fast. The price of Asda’s own-brand soya milk drink has climbed 35% to £1.15, while egg substitute is up 50% to £1.50.

An Asda spokesperson told the Evening Standard: “The differing ingredients and manufacturing process of products in our plant-based range are reflected in the price of these products. We are committed to ensuring a variety of products suit all budgets and needs.”

Some studies show that the price of some animal-based products have also risen by more than the average grocery inflation — and by more than the ‘vegan premium’. 

A recent study by Which? found that the price of basic groceries such as butter, milk and cheese, which all come from animals, soared by up to 30% year-on-year in December.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes

There have been a wave of train strikes in the past six months, and for anyone travelling today Friday 3 Febru...

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

How to help others and donate to food banks this winter

This winter is expected to be the most challenging yet for the food bank network as soaring costs push more pe...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week