January means New Year’s Resolutions, which I am rubbish at keeping, but for many it’s an opportunity to make some changes to their lifestyle choices. Since its launch in 2014 Veganuary has been steadily growing in popularity. Some people see it as a challenge to test themselves, others might use it as a bit of a detox after the over consumption of the festive period, some might be using it as a springboard to cut down their meat consumption and start eating more sustainably. It has been reported that 42% of people taking part are doing it for health reasons but environmental concerns and ethical reasons were also big factors.

Here in the office, whilst no one has been strictly following Veganuary, there has been a big conscious effort to cut down on meat consumption. Most of us describe ourselves as ‘Flexitarians’ who still consume meat but balance this out with plenty of plant-based options.

Our Marketing Manager, Ashton, did take on the challenge to do a ‘veggie week’ so I spoke to her about why she did it, and what impact it had on her.

I would describe myself as a flexitarian with a healthy balanced diet with no allergies or intolerances, and I eat a varied diet. Following a Netflix documentary, ‘Game Changers’ my partner (Ady) and I were keen to try how a vegetarian diet, not only to reduce our impact on the planet but to increase our athletic performance; I’m a hockey player and Ady is a rugby player currently training for the Reading half marathon.

Before, we didn’t eat meat in every meal, but we were having it at least once every day, so we armed ourselves with a trolley full of veg. Ady is a keen cook and looked forward to experimenting with recipes and we had some fabulous dinners; Butternut Squash Thai Curry was one of my favourites.

Within a couple of days of eating more cleanly we were feeling great, not sluggish, bloated or dissatisfied. The longer time went on, the more exercise we could do, and this positive response made us forget that we even may want meat, or alcohol for that matter. The following week, we introduced chicken into a stir-fry, and we didn’t feel like it added anything, so on we went with our veggie experiment. By the end of 10 days we had also lost more than half a stone each!

We have reintroduced meat into our diet to enjoy as a treat at the weekend (after sport) but apart from that, we are still watching and enjoying the goodness we’re putting in our bodies to improve our athletic performance but also feeling great and losing weight as a result. 

It is now easier than ever to choose a vegan option for lunch or dinner. After last year’s vegan sausage roll rom Greggs hit the headlines, they have expanded the range with a ‘vegan steak bake’, made using Quorn. But Greggs aren’t the only ones who have answered consumer demand some of the other fast food giants have jumped on the bandwagon by launching new vegetarian and vegan items to their menus. McDonalds have vegan nuggets, Burger King have their vegan Whopper, KFC have vegan chicken. Marks and Spencer, who were the first people to introduce the Chicken Kiev as a ready meal, have produced a plant-based version, and other supermarkets have massively expanded their “free from” ranges to include more products that are free from meat, dairy or gluten to help provide for today’s changing diets. This has come with its own issues though, as the ranges grow, they demand more shelf space meaning that other products may be compromised or lost, and stores may be redesigned to allow for the new products.

Here at Cotswold Fayre, we have seen a rise in demand for our vegan lines and this peaked during January, sales of The Meatless Farm Co. almost doubled in January compared to December and we have introduced more vegan lines to our offering. However, according to statistics only 2% of the population are vegan so it will be interesting to see if this portion of the population increases with vegan options now more accessible than they’ve ever been.



Marketing Week: 5 Killer stats to start your week, 10th Feb 2020

By Natasha Marlow, Marketing Assistant