Vegan Christmas

Trends / Sustainability
Jacqueline Bourke
Dec 5, 2019
Overindulgence is giving way to a more conscientious celebration of Christmas. How Christmas and this festive period is visualised is undergoing a radical transformation. The sumptuous extravagance of a decadent, over‑fed, consumption‑driven Christmas is over.  Visuals of a heavy‑laden Christmas dinner with a succulent turkey as the crowning glory, a tinsel covered Christmas tree in the background, lots of brightly wrapped Christmas presents and a traditional nuclear multi‑generational family is out of step with surging concerns around sustainability and a true sense of inclusion at Christmas time.

‘Conscious celebrations’ are on the rise as consumers react to overconsumption at Christmas time with their wallets. Consumers are looking to enjoy the festive season while making conscious decisions about what they cook, how they shop, how they gift, reducing travel footprints and creating minimal festive waste during the holiday season. Tesco’s annual Christmas Report for 2019 has found that 75 percent of people say they will cut down on food waste, 29 percent will buy fewer gifts and another 23 percent say they’ll eat less meat this Christmas. Accordingly, in our top sellers, we are beginning to see a departure from an overindulgent and consumptive driven Christmas and a shift towards more inclusive, sustainable and minimal visuals where vegan and plant‑based Christmas meals are primarily coming into focus!
At Getty Images, “Veganism’’ searches have risen 253% and is influencing Christmas storytelling. Customers in 2019 are increasingly interested in showing a more conscious Christmas. This year, searches for “sustainable Christmas” have increased by 533%; “zero waste Christmas” has gone up by 75%; “minimal Christmas” is up 666%; and “Christmas Recycle” is up 629%. By contrast, searches for “Big Christmas” declined by 77%, “Christmas Roast” is down 17%, “Turkey carving” down by 52%, “pile of Christmas presents” decreased by 35% and “Christmas Shopping retail’ is down 31%. ‘
"Overindulgence is giving way to a more conscientious celebration of Christmas."
Companies are hyper aware that inclusive Christmas visuals that are responsible and sustainable‑minded can make their businesses more relevant to today’s consumer and have a positive effect on their bottom line.  Research from Dr Harwatt, a Harvard University research fellow working with Humane Society International UK has found that a turkey Christmas dinner has double the carbon emissions of a vegan nut roast.  In promoting and supporting sustainable living for their customers, retailer Ikea UK announced their first ever 100% Meat Free Christmas Menu for 2019. In an all‑time first for advertising, high street restaurant chain Zizzi put a vegan ‘green’ Father Christmas front and centre of their 2018 Christmas campaign. The spirit of Veganuary (Vegan January) is spreading to Christmas where non‑vegans include more plant‑based meals in their daily choices. The appeal of a flexitarian lifestyle is driving an increasingly sustained engagement with plant‑based diets throughout the year.

Bottom line ‑ Greener Christmas plates are here to stay. But remember, when it comes to selecting relevant Christmas visuals, vegan dishes are only the start. It is about visualising a conscientious Christmas spirit with storytelling that puts craft, human touch and sustainable living to the fore.
Getting Back To Nature