Will Veganuary 2023 Have the Highest Participation Rate to Date?

Will Veganuary 2023 Have the Highest Participation Rate to Date?

Since it first launched in 2014, nearly 2.5 million people around the world have taken the month-long plant-based pledge. Photo courtesy of Veganuary.

For many, a new year calls for resolutions, and for some, that may include giving up meat, dairy and eggs for Veganuary 2023. Some people participate in intermittent fasting, while others try keto or paleo diets. But those that participate in Veganuary must abstain from all animal products, from food to fashion, for the whole month of January. 

As it approaches a decade since the annual event was launched, Veganuary 2023 could have the highest participation rate to date. According to a press release from Veganuary, “the global pledge to try vegan for January and beyond, officially kicked off on Sunday [January 1st, 2023] with a record-breaking sign-up rate of one person taking up the challenge every 2.4 seconds.”

Veganuary’s press release also noted that its charity now operates official chapters in seven countries and people in every country in the world except North Korea have taken part in the pledge.

The Rise of Veganuary

When Veganuary began in 2014, it garnered 3,000 participants. By 2017, that number reached 50,000. In 2020, the campaign skyrocketed to 400,000 sign-ups. And nearly 630,000 people got involved last year. Now, Veganuary also counts several celebrities on its list of ambassadors, including actors and musicians like Alicia Silverstone, Joaquin Phoenix, Billie Eilish and Paul McCartney as well as politicians, like Eric Adams.

While some people are vegan or vegetarian when they opt in, for the most part, participants who sign up to try Veganuary are meat-eaters. In 2022, 36 percent of those who were not vegan before participating decided to stay vegan after taking part. And for those who didn’t remain vegan, 74 percent said they planned to at least half their intake of animal products in the future.

To many meat-eaters, Veganuary may seem intimidating and restrictive. But thanks to the growing number of plant-based products and recipes, participants have more options than ever. Today, consumers can find vegan alternatives — including cheese, chicken, eggs, ham, milk, sausages and more — in many grocery stores. Not to mention, fast-food chains like KFC and McDonald’s have more plant-based options than ever in various locations all over the world.

Companies and Restaurants Participating in Veganuary 2023

No company or restaurant wants to miss the opportunity to increase sales and capture customers’ attention throughout Veganuary 2023. That’s why food and beverage companies, vegan or otherwise, are introducing new products and campaigns for the month of January and beyond. 

Swiss chocolate maker Lindt has added Lindt Classic Recipe Vegan Caramel Sea Salt bars to its vast lineup of chocolate offerings. Chipotle Mexican Grill has introduced two new vegan Lifestyle Bowls: the Veggie Full Bowl and the Plant-Powered Bowl. Other restaurants including Cinnaholic, Rush Bowl and Blue Saki Sushi Grill are rolling out Veganuary specials and menus. Plant-based brands like Field Roast, Sweet Earth and Lightlife are offering digital coupons and discounts.

In the UK, Burger King is launching its Bacon King range this month using Violife’s vegan cheese and bacon. McDonald’s UK & Ireland will double down its use of Beyond Meat burgers, serving two patties in its Double McPlant offering. Starbucks will be expanding its menu in the UK with new vegan options including the Caramelized Macadamia Oat Latte. Meanwhile, Heinz will unveil plant-based canned beans and sausages and a cream of tomato soup.

To support brands during Veganuary 2023, Veganuary USA created a guide to help consumers navigate their vegan journeys and save money.