Veganuary, the month-long plant-based challenge for January is more popular than ever. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned Veganuaryer, we’ve got some facts about the campaign you need to know.
Climate scientists and health experts have been urging people to reduce their animal product intake for years. But forging new habits can be tough. It’s why campaigns like Meatless Monday or Veganuary prove so successful. Knowing you’re not alone in your efforts can make a difference.
What is Veganuary?
Veganuary is a U.K.-based campaign that encourages people to go vegan for the entire month of January. It offers tips and resources to help people keep that goal. But within the commitment, there is no set diet — participants can eat whatever they like, as long as it’s vegan.
For some participants, that means going fully vegan for the whole month. For others, it can mean dabbling a few days a week, or committing to other vegan plans like Meatless Monday or Vegan Before 6 pm (VB6).
If you love trivia, these Veganuary facts may make it a more fun month.
1. Veganuary is entering its tenth year
That’s right, the campaign is ten years old already! It launched its first campaign in 2014, with just 3,000 participants. More than 600,000 signed up last year.
2. Veganuary’s founders are pretty vegan-famous
The campaign was founded by Matthew Glover and Jane Land. They had gone vegan years before (the couple met on a vegan dating site) and were looking for a way to encourage others to do the same. The idea was sparked by Movember — the month-long campaign in November where men grow mustaches to raise awareness about men’s health. While Glover and Land exited the campaign in 2018, they’ve since supported some noteworthy vegan efforts including another campaign, Million Dollar Vegan, VC fund Veg Capital, and the vegan chicken brand, VFC.
3. Companies love launching new vegan products during Veganuary
Veganuary has become a landmark launch date for a number of brands. The campaign reported that last year alone, more than 800 new products and more than 740 restaurant menu items were launched in support of Veganuary. Already ahead of Veganuary 2023, Starbucks has added new sandwiches, Burger King put vegan bacon burgers on the menu, and Heinz turned its iconic Tomato Soup vegan. Keep your eyes peeled for a lot more!
4. Vegan product staying power
While some of these vegan product launches are limited-edition runs for Veganuary, many become permanent menu items and portfolio products, showing the campaign’s influence on helping consumers eat healthier plant-based food.
5. Veganuary is a global event
What started in the U.K. has quickly become the biggest annual vegan event worldwide. More than 228 countries participated last year. This year will see New York City run a concurrent Vegan Dining Month for all of January. Some of the city’s best restaurants will offer vegan menus, special dishes, and more, to encourage city-goers to give vegan food a try during Veganuary. The campaign’s top cities last year in order of sign-ups:
6. Celebs love Veganuary, too
The campaign has drawn support from a range of celebrities including Billie Eilish, Joaquin Phoenix, Sir Paul McCartney, Lewis Hamilton, Alicia Silverstone, and Alec Baldwin. This year, McCartney features in the official Veganuary Vegan Kit alongside Hamilton. There’s also a vegan celebrity cookbook, featuring recipes from Venus Williams, Jane Goodall, and more.
7. Veganuary is entirely free to join
Granted, a month-long campaign all about food may see you spend a bit more on groceries and restaurants if you’re feeling adventurous, but there is no cost to participate in the campaign. It’s entirely free.