Veganuary is almost unescapable now – more than 629,000 people took part in the annual campaign in 2022. The 2023 campaign is set to be even bigger. It’s had a significant role in bringing veganism into the mainstream, encouraging the public to go plant-based for January – and beyond. Are food awareness days and events something that your food business can leverage?
As well as engaging consumers, Veganuary also inspires food brands to put on their thinking caps to create new offers and products. Toni Vernelli, international head of communications at Veganuary, said: “Plant-based food has taken the culinary world by storm in recent years, and it’s clear that it can no longer be dismissed as a passing fad. The industry is set to be worth $30 billion by 2026 according to Statista, giving businesses an exciting opportunity to get involved in the plant-based buzz.”
Can you tap into other food events and themes? Here are some well-known – and not-so-well-known – food awareness days and events to give you some inspiration.
Veganuary was launched in the UK in January 2014 and since then has taken the world by storm. The annual campaign is dedicated to changing consumer behaviours and attitudes towards veganism by encouraging people to try vegan for the month of January. The 2022 campaign saw the launch of more than 1,540 new vegan products and menu options (e.g., McDonald’s McPlant and Burger King’s plant-based nuggets), encouraging even the biggest food businesses to get creative with new vegan-based menus.
1-31 January 2023. More information.
Fairtrade Fortnight runs every year for two weeks. The campaign encourages the small switch to Fairtrade to support producers in protecting the future of some of our most beloved food (coffee, bananas, chocolate). The focus this year is on the climate crisis. Hundreds of events take place across the country during Fairtrade Fortnight, including ‘bake-offs’ and coffee mornings, inviting people and businesses to get involved in promoting the benefits and significance of fair trade.
27 February – 12 March 2023. More information.
This year marks the third annual Food Waste Action Week (FWAW). Known as the UK’s largest food waste behaviour change campaign – and launched by sustainability-driven charity WRAP – the weeklong campaign encourages households and organisations to reduce their food waste. The theme this year is ‘Win. Don’t Bin’, which aims to inspire people with the confidence to use up leftovers, including advice and tips on best practices when it comes to labelling, storage and reheating food.
6–12 March 2023. More information.
Created by Allergy UK, Allergy Awareness Week is a public campaign that aims to raise awareness about allergies and difficulties people with allergies experience. The topic this year is childhood food allergy, focusing specifically on the weaning journey for parents of babies with food allergies (such as nuts, shellfish and eggs).
20–25 April 2023. More information.
Coeliac UK Awareness Week is dedicated to shining a light on coeliac disease, which affects 1 in 100 people in the UK, though only 36% of people are actually diagnosed. As well as raising awareness of its symptoms and complications, the campaign aims highlight the importance of a strict gluten free diet for those living with the condition. It invites schools, restaurants, businesses to get involved, for example by baking some dazzling gluten free goods.
9–15 May 2023. More information.
Held annually, Diabetes Week is a UK-wide initiative that aims to raise awareness of diabetes and fundraise for more research in this area. The campaign sees a huge range of community events take place across the country. This year’s theme is ‘all about celebrating you!’ – encouraging people to share their stories of living with diabetes and the daily struggles. For example, drawing on his own experiences living with type 1 diabetes, James Gilpin is making single malt whiskey out of the sugar-rich urine from people with diabetes…
12–18 June 2023. More information.
According to OpenTable, bookings for afternoon tea have increased by 54% over the past two years. Afternoon Tea Week is a great excuse to celebrate one of the nation’s favourite traditions. It invites people to get creative with some indulgent finger food ideas, with venues across the country running a selection of exclusive discounts and exciting events to celebrate the beauty of afternoon tea in all its glory.
7–13 August 2023. More information.
Celebrated throughout September across the UK, Organic September aims to raise awareness about all things organic and its health benefits, including for the planet. It encourages people to produce and consume organic products, while celebrating all the hard work that goes into organic farming. Whether it’s getting involved in an organic box scheme or buying organic from an independent or a high street store, there lots of exciting ways to get involved.
1–30 September 2023. More information.
National Curry Week has been running since 1998 and takes place annually in October. It invites the nation to spread the love for Indian food – and try their hands at the nation’s favourite dish. There’s plenty of ways to get involved, with lots of inspiration to be found in the official national curry week recipe book, ‘From Bombay to Britain’, which includes exciting signature dishes from some of the top Indian restaurants in the UK.
10–16 October 2023. More information.
For those with a sweet tooth, National Pudding Day is held annually in November to celebrate all of the decadence that goes along with the rich history that puddings carry, which has evolved over time. A fantastic excuse to try your hands at some modern British pudding recipes – both sweet and savoury!
9 November 2023. More information.
Celebrated in both the UK and US, Small Business Saturday invites communities to champion locally owed small businesses. It’s a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which showcases small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’. A great way to explore local food markets and locally sourced ingredients. Since coming to the UK in 2013, it has grown into an iconic campaign with millions participating, and each year draws high engagement on social media.
2 December 2023. More information.
If you want to discuss range extensions or reformulations to take advantage of food awareness days and events, book a call today.