Vegan meals cooked at home cost on average 40 percent less than meat- or fish-based meals and typically take one-third less time to prepare, a new study conducted by market research company Kantar found. The study was commissioned by United Kingdom-based vegan nonprofit Veganuary—which challenges people to go vegan for the month of January and beyond. For the study, Kantar gathered data from online weekly meal diaries from approximately 11,000 people living in Britain for the 52-week period ending in August 2020. While an average lunch or dinner containing meat or fish cost $2.36 per person, a comparable plant-based meal cost only $1.41 per person. Kantar also found that a plant-based lunch was 37 percent quicker to prepare than a meat- or fish-based lunch, and plant-based dinners were 32 percent quicker to prepare than their animal-based counterparts.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a huge increase in people interested in trying a plant-based diet—whether for their health or the health of our planet—but it has also sadly caused economic loss for many,” Veganuary US Director Wendy Matthews said. “This new study shows that people can protect their health, the planet, and their wallets with a plant-based diet.”

In a separate analysis of 30,000 British households, Kantar found that vegan households spend an average of eight percent less per grocery trip than non-vegan households of a similar size—with only 3.7 percent of the vegan household grocery spending going toward meat substitutes. On average, Kantar found that vegan shopping baskets cost $21.95 while the average non-vegan basket cost $23.87. 

Can Americans save with vegan meals?
Matthews notes that while the data is specific to the United Kingdom, Americans can also save money and time by choosing to cook plant-based meals. Veganuary—which expanded its campaign in the United States last year—created a Budget Meal Plan to help Americans create meals for less than $1.40 per serving, the amount the average American receives per meal with SNAP benefits. “While some plant-based meat and dairy substitutes carry a premium, this study shows they are only a small part of a typical vegan diet and overall eating plants costs less—another great reason to try vegan this January,” Matthews said, noting that Americans can save even more money during January with promotions in place with Veganuary partners such as Albertsons, Hellmann’s, Aveda, Mendocino Farms, and Follow Your Heart. 

Veganuary’s record numbers
Veganuary was founded in 2014 and last year it had more than 400,000 participants from 192 countries in its annual vegan challenge. Last year, 600 businesses participated in Veganuary, launching 1,200 vegan products or menu items in support. This year, Veganuary is aiming for 500,000 participants, which would put its total signups since launch at 1.5 million.

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