Plant- Based products: A step in the right direction or a marketing trend?

Branded by the Guardian as the vegan Halo-effect, companies have capitalised off of the recently explosive plant-based movement, to reap the rewards.

In fact, Greggs profits increased by 50% in the first half of 2019, after the launch of their infamous plant-based sausage roll. The bakery chain famous for their steak bakes and traditional pork sausage didn’t care too much for their environmental impact, before it became popular. 

Fast food giant McDonalds is launching the McPlant burger in 250 stores later next week, causing controversy as the conglomerate was recently discovered to be the most unethical firm in the world, reported by the Ethical Reputation Index.

Of course, a step in the right direction is important, however what we really need to be asking is whether these organisations really do care about the environment, or whether they see environmentalism as a capitalised trend that will help them make even more profit.

These major companies hold a lot of power, and by moving with the times and promoting vegan alternatives, undoubtably, its consumers will follow suit.

By going vegan, you’re able to cut your carbon footprint in half, by even more if the products you buy are from small, ethical companies. However in supporting the small changes made by companies that make a huge impact we hold the power to make a more widespread change.

This past Wednesday, it was announced that Cadbury are launching the highly anticipated ‘Plant Bar’, a new vegan alternative chocolate bar. Made using almond paste and 100% sustainably sourced cocoa, the product is set to launch in supermarkets next month.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that Cadbury itself contributes hugely to environmental damage.

Studies show that just one litre of milk produces the equivalent of 900g of Co2.

As Branch’s sustainable lifestyle correspondent, I spoke to Jack Shute about the changes being made and what this means for our society.

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