Veganism has hit the roof in recent years, with more than 3.5 million British people now choosing to enjoy a plant-based diet.

In 2018 Veganuary (going vegan for January) broke all records. The campaign grew by 183%, with over 168,000 people signing up.

Veganism has soared in popularity in recent years, with more than 3.5 million British people now choosing to enjoy a plant-based diet.

In 2018 Veganuary (going vegan for January) broke all records, the campaign growing by 183 per cent, with more than 168,000 people signing up.

According to a survey by, seven per cent of the UK population now identify as vegan.

Anthony Chesher, owner at Be the Change Foods in Worcester’s Cornmarket, said: “The Animal Rights March in London has doubled in size each year. We are taking a coach load of people next Saturday.

“This is an indicator to prove that more people are choosing to go vegan.

“From a perspective of someone who is vegan and has been living in Worcester for eight years, it has been increasingly easier to get hold of products.

“Veganism is a universal thing. But there is definitely a large proportion of the movement who are younger.”

Be the Change Foods organised Worcester’s very first Vegan Bake Off competition earlier this month. The event comprised six amateurs baking with ingredients, none of which contained any animal products.

The aim was for everyone to have some fun and make people aware that they don’t have to compromise on taste when eating vegan foods.

The bakers had to complete three tasks, two of which had already been prepared before the event.

Each contestant brought along their signature cookies and showstopping cakes. To ensure baking can be assessible for all, the contestants had a strict budget of £16 to be spent across the two tasks.

The third task was live in front of the audience, of which contestants knew nothing beforehand.

They had a short time period given where each had to make, all equal size, 20 bliss balls which were then tasted by the audience. Bliss balls are a healthy snack and typically simple to make.

“We always like watching the Great British Bake Off. The more experienced we have become as bakers, it has made us realise that people can make these delicious cakes without the use of eggs or butter,” Anthony added, “With a bit of experimentation you can bake amazing things.”

The event sold out, with more than 60 people in the audience. Everyone got involved and tasted the baked goodies, before casting their vote on who should be crowned Vegan Bake Off Champion 2018.

Martyna Saczuk, aged 20, who is studying Human Nutrition at the University of Worcester, was the winner.

Martyna, pictured on Page 15 with her rose water-flavoured two tiered cak,e said: “I had no time to practise so I was surprised I won, but it was a lovely surprise. It was an amazing event and I cannot wait for the next one!

“When I met the other five bakers it took the stress away from the day. I just wanted some fun and make people aware that you don’t need animal products to make a nice cake.

“I used to be a vegetarian, but I turned vegan three years ago. I became more conscious of what I was eating and the damage that humans are doing to the planet and environment.”

Be the Change Foods are hoping to organise another event similar to this in the future, perhaps next time serving savoury snacks instead.