70 vegan trademarks registered in 2020 as sector growth continues

Posted: 26 April 2021 | | No comments yet

The growing popularity of vegan food shows no sign of slowing down, with financial firms predicting large growth ahead for the sector.


Another 70 vegan trademarks were filed in 2020, suggesting that the vegan trend shows no sign of slowing down, with 265 vegan trademarks now registered in the food and drink sector in the last five years, claims EMW, the corporate commercial law firm.

The number of vegan trademarks applications in 2020 is the second-highest on record behind the all-time high of 92 in 2019 (according to the Intellectual Property Office) as the popularity of vegan diets continues to increase.

Vegan food and drink is continuing to develop into a major market for food manufacturers. European retail sales of meat and dairy alternatives have grown by almost 10 percent per year from 2010 to 2020. According to Deloitte, the plant-based alternative market is set to grow from €1.5bn in 2018 to €2.4bn by 2025 in Europe, with the UK being the largest market.

EMW says that demand for new vegan foods is one of the main drivers of the rising Research and Development spend of the largest 30 food and drink manufacturers, which it says has grown 43 percent from £4.4bn to £6.3bn per year in the last five years.

In November, McDonald’s announced it would debut a line meat alternative product in 2021 called McPlant, while sausage manufacturer Richmond recently launched vegan meatballs and mince.

The rise in demand for vegan products has made vegan food manufacturers attractive investment targets in recent years. This trend has continued in the last year, with French food conglomerate Danone acquiring US vegan brand Follow Your Heart, best known for its egg-free mayonnaise ‘Vegenaise’ in January 2021.

“With greater consumer concern over food sustainability, vegan products have exploded in popularity in the last decade. Those issues driving increased adoption of vegan diets are only going to become more pressing in the future. 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,” said Daisy Divoka, Senior Associate at EMW.

“Companies are seeing greater value in vegan products and are spending more on their development as well as protection for them.”

“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.”

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