waitrose vegan root en croute pastry

Source: Waitrose

The supermarket has seen an uplift in sales of vegan canapés, trimmings, gravy and desserts

Sales of Christmas vegan food have soared 40% at Waitrose as shoppers look to reduce their meat consumption over the festive season.

The supermarket said more customers than ever were incorporating a vegan offering into their Christmas dinners, with an uplift in sales of vegan canapés, trimmings, gravy and desserts.

Vegan centrepieces for the main course of a Christmas dinner, such as the nut roast and the ‘Root en Croute’, were the bestsellers in its range, Waitrose added.

It follows a report from research organisation IGD earlier this month that found plant-based alternatives had entered the top five choices for Christmas Day main meal options for the first time, coming in above ham, pork, seafood, lamb and salmon.

The research also revealed a notable number of households would be reducing the amount of meat they ate this year, with 13% planning to prepare a vegan or vegetarian meal, compared with 9% in 2018.

Range preview: Waitrose Christmas 2019

Charlotte McCarthy, vegan and vegetarian buyer at Waitrose & Partners, said: “Our vegan range has been growing in popularity for a number of years.

“However, we anticipate this Christmas will be the biggest ever for vegan food. We’ve worked really hard to ensure that there is an exciting range available for our customers and that we offer an entirely vegan Christmas dinner – trimmings and all.”

Other bestsellers in the range included the vegan mushroom and chestnut pâté, the most popular starter among customers. And the most popular accompaniment was the vegan festive wreath, made with an apple & cranberry and mushroom & leek ‘banger’ with an apricot stuffing and parsley crumb.

Waitrose has also introduced vegan streaky slices, made from seitan, and apple & cranberry bangers so customers can make their own vegan version of pigs in blankets.

Throughout the year, the retailer has been extending its vegan offering to meet customer demand. Sales for the overall vegan category are up 35% compared with last year, Waitrose said.

The Waitrose annual Food & Drink Report 2019/20 also revealed sales of vegan ready meals were outselling their vegetarian counterparts for the first time.