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Demand for vegan products continued to rise last year, with more than 70 trademarks for new vegan products registered in 2020.

The number of vegan trademarks applications last year was the second highest on record behind 2019, which saw 92 registered, according to corporate commercial law firm EMW.

Demand for new vegan foods was one of the main drivers for the rise in research and development spend by the largest 30 food and drink manufacturers, which grew 43% from £4.4bn to £6.3bn per year in the last five years.

Daisy Divoka, senior associate at EMW, said greater consumer concern over food sustainability sparked the explosion in popularity of vegan products in the last decade.

“Those issues driving increased adoption of vegan diets are only going to become more pressing in the future​,” she added. “This trend still has a long way to run and will inevitably be influenced further by changes in our lifestyle as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Now, large players are spending money on developing new, vegan alternatives to animal products as the market continues to move in that direction. This means they are also having to invest more in protecting that valuable intellectual property through trademarks and patents.”

Vegetable consumption pledge

As more consumers turn to plant-based options for their meals, 100 businesses have pledged to help boost vegetable consumption in the UK.

Major retail, manufacturing and hospitality businesses have signed up to the Peas Please initiative to make vegetables more appealing, accessible and affordable for everyone.

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