A vegan business owner admits that Veganuary and the cost of living crisis has seen sales drop by a third.
Adrian Bhagat, 50, has owned The V Spot for seven years but concedes that 2023 is going to be the toughest year yet.
The business moved to a bigger site two years ago to meet demand but are now struggling due to the economic crisis facing the country.
Veganuary is a monthly challenge for people to adopt a vegan diet and Mr Bhagat hopes it is able to attract long term customers despite January typically being one of the worst months for business.
Mr Bhagat said: “The cost of bringing in products has raised significantly and unfortunately it means our prices are having to match that.
“It’s a shame really because customers still come in but are generally spending less or find somewhere else.”
Mr Bhagat concedes that his business has been fortunate to have fixed contract so he doesn’t have to worry about his energy bill instead he has to focus on customers coming through the door.
Organic produce has been the main import that has impacted the business due to it being the most expensive and is a problem Mr Bhagat is trying to solve everyday.
Mr Bhagat added: “The whole Veganaury trend sees the big supermarkets push the vegan agenda and this means customers will go them instead of local businesses so they are the ones that really profit from it.
“I’m hoping that we are only losing short term customers but are able to gain long term customers as a result.”
Mr Bhagat himself has been a vegan now for 29 years and hopes that his shop helps promote healthier lifestyles for people who care about the planet.
“big supermarkets push the vegan agenda…so they are the ones that really profit from it.”
Adrian Bhaghat, Owner of the v spot
Veganuary has been going for nine years now and is becoming less of a trend and more of a lifestyle.
Mr Bhagat recognises that and within his store he sells typical vegan alternatives as well as shoes.
He added: “When the shop first opened it was about targeting the niche audience as it wasn’t common for people to be vegan but now due to the way the world views veganism has really allowed us to grow and expand.
“Veganuary has certainly helped that and despite it hurting my business personally, as a whole I’m more happy that people are converting to veganism”