Veganism is a dietary and lifestyle choice that excludes all animal products from one’s diet, including meat, dairy, and eggs. This style of living and eating fits well with the Nordic nations’ aims of sustainability, environmental preservation, and encouraging healthy living. Plant-based diets align quite well with the strong dedication to ecological responsibility demonstrated by the nations of Northern Europe.
It goes without saying that environmentally aware people such as the Nordics embrace everything veganism stands for. Some of the big fast-food chains already have best-selling vegan products on the Nordic market and are now experiencing an unprecedented surge in the popularity of said products. The adoption of vegan fast food in Scandinavian countries is a massive enterprise that can teach us important lessons about the future of the global food industry. Let’s see how this new style of living is shaping up.
Features of Vegan Fast-Food
Vegan fast food has a number of appealing aspects for customers looking for plant-based solutions. Only on this side of the dietary spectrum can you find delicious plant-based burgers, wraps, and sandwiches prepared with revolutionary meat substitutes like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods. Thanks to the indispensable features of vegan fast food in Nordics, this has become the impetus whereby a sustainable lifestyle is to be established. The following is what makes this way of living and eating so wholesome and appealing to the populace of Northern Europe.
Vegan Fast-Food as a Trend
Veganism accommodates a variety of dietary needs, including gluten-free, lactose-free and soy-free options. Being an effective solution to combat allergies, the growing need for such products has driven the global value of the market up in the past several years. Experts project a USD 40.25 Billion global market valuation by the year 2028.
While the biggest contributors to the market growth are the UK, the US, and Japan, the Nordic Council of Ministers has been more than clear in its intention to adopt a sustainable vegan diet in the countries it represents. Recent reports and recommendations all point in that direction, which basically lays the groundwork for the success of big vegan fast-food brands in Nordics.
A shining example of the shift in gears is McDonald’s, which adopted a new strategy of selling vegetarian food to its target audience for three main reasons. Firstly, it acknowledges the change in consumer needs in nations where a significant portion of the population is vegetarian, negatively impacting sales. Secondly, McDonald’s embraced the adaptability theory of international marketing and adjusted its strategy to cater to different countries’ preferences.
Lastly, the company faced criticism from animal rights groups, prompting the introduction of vegetarian options to improve its public image. This strategy shift proved successful, allowing McDonald’s to reach a broader range of consumers, increase profits, and be one of the big fast-food brands in the Nordics.
Top International Fast-Food Chains Providing Vegan Options
The vegan fast-food options in Nordics are evolving to cater to the growing demand of consumers. Burger King, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dunkin’, and other major chains now offer plant-based alternatives. Arguably, it’s McDonald’s that has made the biggest change to its menu. The burger menu, for example, at this fast-food chain offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, including Veggie Tasty, Veggie Hot Sriracha, Veggie Classic, and the well-received McVegan. Developed by Orkla in Malmö, Sweden, in 2017, the McVegan features a soy-based patty combined with flavoursome ingredients like tomato, onion, and peppers. In response to the newfound appreciation of plant-based meals for children, McDonald’s has recently introduced a vegan McFalafel meal designed specifically for kids.
While not “fast food”, per se, other brands from the “healthy food” category are also making a change in the pursuit of a sustainable vegan diet in Scandinavia. Alpro, renowned for its plant-based food and beverage offerings, such as soy and almond milk, yoghurt, and desserts, is readily available in most Nordic supermarkets and health food stores. Amy’s Kitchen, a US-based brand specializing in organic and vegan frozen meals, has some international distribution, including availability in select stores and online retailers in the Nordic regions. Beyond Meat, known for its plant-based meat substitutes, and Danone S.A., which owns Alpro, have expanded their reach to various parts of Europe, including the Nordics.
Reasons for Popularity and Availability in Nordics. Case Study: Sweden
The Nordic nations have stressed environmental sustainability in regard to vegetarian diets, as evidenced by their shared scientific basis for national nutrition guidelines known as NNRs. The NNRs include not only dietary suggestions but also a chapter on sustainable food consumption, recognizing the enormous environmental effect of meat and dairy production. Vegan fast food in Nordics is one of the major instruments used to achieve the goal of sustainability. A lot of effort and resources are invested in that lane, and that makes the business of fast-food brands all the more profitable.
In Sweden, shopping for vegetarian and vegan food has become convenient and varied due to the growing popularity of plant-based diets. Leading Swedish brands like Findus, Risenta, Anamma, and Oumph! now cover an enviable range of vegan and vegetarian options. Supermarkets Coop and ICA have also contributed to the movement by promoting awareness of the environmental impact of meat consumption.
Grocery stores now stock vegan meat alternatives, non-dairy products like tofu and almond milk, and other plant-based options. Additionally, approximately 10% of Swedes identify as vegan or vegetarian, driving the country’s food industry to create innovative and globally popular vegan products, with Oatly Milk being one of the favourites. Sweden is an ideal destination for people having health and climate change topmost on their agenda.
In a Store Near You
The countries of Northern Europe remain some of the most forward-thinking and determined to make a difference. This is why it doesn’t come as a surprise that a newer and healthier diet is taking root so easily there – not without the help of the best vegan fast-food chains in Nordics, of course. The strong connection with nature and resolute planning has converted even Sweden – a meat-loving country – to a greener way of thinking. There’s definitely a lesson to be learned for all big countries.
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