The UK has the highest number of new vegan food products, overtaking Germany to the world's number one spot, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).
The database shows that as many as one in six – 16 per cent – of food products launched last year were vegan or no animal ingredient products, which is double the 2015 level.
The news comes as Gregg’s vegan sausage roll launch has proved so popular that the high street firm has decided to up its production of the product.
Meanwhile, German levels have fallen to 13 per cent by 2018 from a high of 15 per cent in 2017.
Overall, one in 10 food products launched in Europe in 2018 had a vegan or no animal ingredients claim, doubling from 5 per cent in 2015.
The study shows that more than a third – 34 per cent - of British meat eaters are now identifying as ‘flexitarians’, reducing their meat consumption in the six months to July 2018. This is up from 28 per cent in 2017.
Interestingly, a third of Brits also said that news articles on veganism and meat eating persuaded them to give up meat.
Other findings in the report include non-dairy milk growing 9.4 per cent between 2016 and 2017 with 9 per cent of Brits drinking plant-based milk in the first three months of 2018. The figure rises to more than a quarter of Millennials in the 25 to 34 age group.
However, 39 per cent say vegan meals are boring and almost half – 41 per cent – say they are overpriced. One in ten want to see more vegan items on the menu though.
Edward Bergen, global food and drinks analyst at Mintel: “Initiatives like ‘Veganuary’ and ‘meat-less Monday’ allow consumers to flirt with veganism without the long-term commitment. As more people reduce their meat intake, they experiment with more plant-based dishes catering for their flexitarian lifestyles – whether at home, on-the-go or in restaurants.
“Moreover, consumers are becoming more willing than ever to expand their comfort zones, push themselves to the limit with new experiences and use social media to compete with and offer inspiration to their peers.”