More than half of university students say they would choose a vegan product even if they were not vegan, according to a study by bakery supplier Dawn Foods.

A hundred students attended a vegan bakery pop-up in the café of the main University College Birmingham (UCB) building, with 36 students and lecturers taking part in a survey about different bakery trends.

A quarter said they would follow a diet due to health concerns and 25% because of animal welfare. More than half (56%) would choose a vegan product even if they were not vegan, while only 19% said they would not buy a vegan product. Most students said vegan items were too expensive.

A bakery product had to be indulgent or luxurious for 33% of people, followed by vegetarian and reduced sugar and fat.

Students chose a slice of cake as their top sweet treat, with cookies and muffins in second place. Sixty-one per cent of people said appearance was key for purchase, and older respondents said the homemade look of the product tempted them.

“Dawn Foods has a strong link with UCB through our student ambassador programme. The bakery pop-up event, which is now in its second year with the university college, is a simple but effective way to gauge consumer response to our products and see why people make certain decisions,” said Jacqui Passmore, marketing manager UK and Ireland for Dawn Foods.

“This year’s event looked at vegan as the category will be a focus for Dawn in 2020 with new products and innovations to be launched.”

Students also sampled a range of Dawn products, including muffins and traybakes, alongside non-vegan premium doughnuts and cakes.

The vegan traybake, created with Dawn’s new vegan crème cake mix, was often selected above other products by vegan and non-vegan students, according to the supplier.

UCB student tasting a product from Dawn Foods