Exclusive: World Vegan Chocolate Day set to mark its third edition

The founder of World Vegan Chocolate Day, Adrian Ling, CEO of Plamil Foods, has encouraged the industry to mark the third annual event with online activities, writes Neill Barston.

Set for January 31, this year’s occasion is anticipated to be observed by a number of companies and individuals, as the wider movement continues to gain in popularity around the globe.

While some areas of the vegan and broader plant-based sector have seen challenges with specialist restaurants closing and product ranges reducing amid the ongoing cost of living crisis, it appears the confectionery sector is showing some positive signs of resilience within the category.

As previously reported by Confectionery Production, key brands including Mars, Cadbury and Nestle have all developed vegan chocolate ranges, which have added an additional dimension to the sector.

Hotel Chocolat among those companies marking the event last year, encouraging customers to try a number of vegan confectionery product ideas, highlighting the fact that the vegan category is now far from confined to dark chocolate, with truffles, hot chocolate, enrobed fruits and flavour innovations adding considerably to the category.

Furthermore, as the company noted, the World Vegan Chocolate Day also offers a chance to reflect on the environmental and ethical impact of food, and the fact that consumers should push companies and governments to improve their sourcing practices.

This is already being seen within Europe, with the EUDR regulations due at the end of 2024 that companies importing commodities including cocoa and other agricultural produce will have to show full transparency of their supply agreements.

Last year, a total of 706,000 people signed up to take part in the Veganuary movement, of trying a vegan diet for a month, which exceeded the previous results, proving that demand still remains strong within the overall segment.

Adrian Ling, who played a key role in our World Confectionery Conference Q&A session last year, said: “This year I’m encouraging producers and suppliers to celebrate all things vegan chocolate with some engagement online. Getting the message out there that vegan chocolate ‘is here, now and happening’!

Promote, have fun, giveaway, engage, smile, but overall take part in any way you can to celebrate World Vegan Chocolate Day. Lets have some fun. If as many brands get involved as possible, doing there own ‘thing’ all will benefit. Lets show what a wonderful industry we are in… and it’s a great way to end Veganuary.

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