To celebrate World Vegan Day today (1 November), British Baker looks at how bakers can improve their offering and rounds up some of the vegan bakery innovations from 2018.

According to statistics from The Vegan Society, veganism has increased by 350% over the past decade, and there are now an estimated 3.5 million people following a vegan diet in the UK alone.

“It’s vital that bakeries have a good vegan offering,” said Paul Maxwell, trade marketing manager at Aryzta Food Solutions.

“Big brands, such as Pret A Manger and Greggs, have introduced vegan options, so the smaller, independent bakers and chains need to compete.”

Maxwell suggested that bakers should have more than one vegan option for each category, as this would encourage return customers. With that in mind, Aryzta recently unveiled a duo of loaf cakes as part of its vegan range, which included plain and apricot croissants, as well as a vegan carrot cake.

Other bakery businesses have also rolled out products in a hope of attracting vegan consumers.

In March, Crosstown doughnuts opened its first exclusively vegan store in London’s Marylebone, following the successful launch of its vegan range in 2017.

Supermarkets have also looked to increase their vegan offering, giving shelf space to a number of small bakery brands, such as The White Rabbit Pizza Co, which in spring landed a listing at Waitrose for its Viva La Vegan and Smokin’ Vegan pizzas. Tesco, meanwhile, more than doubled its Wicked Kitchen range, adding baked items such as pies, pizzas and a brownie.

See below for more vegan bakery innovations:

Pep & Lekker Seed Snacks

Vegan brand Pep & Lekker launched this year with a range of baked crispbreads designed for snacking. The Seed Snacks come in three flavours: Rosemary & Pumpkin Seed, Cumin & Nigella Seed and Fennel & Sunflower Seed. The brand plans to launch vegan soups by the end of the year.

Kara Brioche bun

Finsbury Food Group foodservice brand Kara has unveiled a vegan brioche-style bun. The recipe substitutes the egg glaze and butter contents and replaces them with dairy-free alternatives. Kara said that, despite these changes, the buns did not compromise on flavour, colour or texture.

Higgidy Meat Free Parcels

Higgidy launched a duo of meat-free parcels exclusively at Waitrose in June. One of its flavours, the roasted sweet potato and red onion parcel, is suitable for vegans and comprises a tomato and lentil filling with chilli-roasted sweet potato and red onion, topped with millet and black onion seed.

The Vegan Bakes Salted Caramel & Honeycomb doughnut

Surrey-based bakery The Vegan Bakes added a Salted Caramel & Honeycomb doughnut to its range. The new flavour joins its most popular Speculoos flavour, as well as the ‘Let’s Partay’, which is topped with Party Rings, and the Cookies and Cream, which includes Oreos.

Mummy Meagz Rocky Roads

Café owner Mummy Meagz, real name Meagan Boyle, launched a new business venture, creating a range of vegan and gluten-free rocky road bars. The range comprises three flavours; OOOriginal, OOOrange and MMMinty and the bars contain chunks of biscuit and vegan marshmallows, encased in a dairy-free chocolate mixture.

Kirsty’s Vegan Pizza

Vegan food manufacturer Kirsty’s launched its first ever pizza, a classic Margherita with an Italian stone-baked base, free from wheat, gluten, soya and dairy. The pizza also makes for a lighter choice, coming in at under 400 calories per portion.

The Mad Batter vegan range

Baker Stacey Manning launched her bakery brand The Mad Batter, which offers vegan and gluten-free alternatives to every product in its range. Manning said that, when creating the brand, friends had said they had problems finding vegan products that weren’t “over-priced and under-sized.”

Vegan Christmas cake made with Boodles Gin

Gin brand Boodles has partnered with artisan bakery Lily Vanilli to create a vegan Christmas pudding. The cake contains a raspberry-and-gin coulis filling and is topped with gold mulberries and a sprig of rosemary. It is available exclusively at Lily Vanilli’s bakery on Columbia Road, London throughout December.

Creative Nature cake mixes

Home-baking brand Creative Nature added Banana Bread and Chocolate Chip Muffin flavours to its range of vegan cake mixes. The new products join its Chia & Cacao Brownie and Chia & Mulberry Muffin mixes. The mixes require the addition of flax eggs or ripe bananas and dairy-free spread.

Rosalind Miller Heavenly Vegan Cake

Confection by Rosalind Miller added the Heavenly Vegan cake to its range. The cake comprises a Belgian chocolate vegan sponge layered and covered with coconut butter cream, it is finished with crystallised wildflowers, sprinkles of crystallised rose and violet petals as well as 24-carat gold leaf.