Online retailer Virgin Wines revealed that sales of its vegan wine have increased from 1.1 million to more than 1.7 million bottles between 2019 and 2021, an increase of 51%. They currently offer more than 400 vegan wines online and have added additional varieties to their selections in 2020.
After asking their customers, Virgin Wines concluded that 36% of them actively shopped for vegan wines, motivated by animal welfare (30%), environmental (29%), and health (25%) reasons. Most wine brands still use animal-based ingredients during the filtering, clarifying, and fining processes, such as gelatine, casein, beeswax, egg whites, and fish bladders, but vegan wines do not do that (they use alternatives such as silica clay and pea gelatine). And not all wine labelled as vegetarian is suitable for vegans, as egg or casein may have been used. Almost 40% of the participants in the survey confessed they did not know some wines are not vegan, but 72% responded that, if they ever hosted a dinner party where one of the guests was vegan, they would make sure they would serve them vegan wine.
Sophie Lord, Head of Buying at Virgin Wines, said in a statement, “It’s not surprising to see such a rise in vegan wine sales…Over the last decade, far more alternative wine fining methods have been found, allowing winemakers to move away from the traditional methods that are unsuitable for vegans.”
As with wine, beer also has vegan and non-vegan versions, but finding out which one are vegan is easier as in some countries there is no tradition to use any animal product in the process. To find which alcoholic drinks are suitable for vegans, there are several apps, such as Barnivore and the BevVeg, that can help. There are also brands that have vegan certification on the labels.