Vegan shoppers facing ‘higher levels of inflation’

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Vegan shoppers are facing higher levels of inflation at the checkout than the average consumer, a new research has found, calling on supermarkets to incentivise more sustainable choices by ensuring prices are matched

According to analysis of over 100 different vegan products at leading supermarkets Tesco, Asda and Iceland Evening Standard, prices have risen by an average of 18 per cent over the past year, significantly higher than the 14.6 per cent average grocery price inflation estimated by retail analytics firm Kantar.

The price of vegan pizzas has risen 42 per cent, the analysis found, while vegan meat alternatives are up 23 per cent and vegan cheese is up 28 per cent. Vegan ice cream is up 19 per cent and vegan milk rose by 25 per cent.

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 per cent and 11.4 per cent respectively, according to consumer price data from the Office for National Statistics.

“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,” Claire Ogley, Head of Campaigns, Policy and Research at The Vegan Society, told Evening Standard.

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

Ogley added that it’s possible for shoppers to save money by going vegan, if they ditch vegan products like meat-free sausages in favour of whole foods like legumes, grains, nuts, and fresh fruit and veg.

Some vegan products appear to have risen exceptionally fast. The price of Asda’s own-brand soya milk drink has climbed 35 per cent to £1.15, while egg substitute is up 50 per cent to £1.50 and the supermarket is selling Magnum 3 Vegan Almond Ice Creams is up 40 per cent to £3.50.

Reacting to the report, an Asda spokesperson said that the differing ingredients and manufacturing process of products in the plant-based range are reflected in the price of these products.