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Consumer demand for vegan food products is increasing faster during the lockdown.
According to data from law firm EMW, the number of trademarks registered for new vegan food and drink products in the UK more than doubled to a record high last year.
In 2019, companies applied for 107 trademarks for food products from vegan burgers to yoghurts. That is a 128% increase compared to 2018 when 47 trademarks were recorded.
This year, supermarkets have reported strong sales of plant-based ranges since the coronavirus lockdown. Consumers are disrupting the traditional food chain. People started paying more attention to what they eat during the lockdown. More Brits have been reducing consumption of meat and dairy, adopting the "flexitarian" diet and buying more plant-based foods.
The fast-growing vegan food category has attracted interest from international food giants such as Unilever, Nestle, which started investing massively in plant-based products.
Unilever has trademarked its vegan Magnum and Ben and Jerry's ice-cream brands. Upfield, maker of Flora and Beyond Meat – have trademarked product names variations of "Beyond Butter", "Beyond Cheese" and "Beyond Mince". This year, Upfield also bought the vegan cheese brand Violife for a reported £455m.
Daisy Divoka, an associate at EMW, told The Guardian: "There are now more vegan products on supermarket shelves than ever before. Multinational corporations have identified this as a fast-growing sector and are competing to register their trademarks with the aim of capturing and defending a share of the market."
Food products are not the only ones that go through a vegan makeover.
A spokeswoman for the Vegan Society said: "We have only recently started reporting by category, but the number of fashion products registered has doubled so far in 2020. Drinks, household and toiletry products are our next biggest growth categories."
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