These days, veganism has become pretty common, especially for the last three years. According to WTVOX, the United Nations estimate the world's population in 2020 is 7.8 billion, and the total number of vegans in the world is approximately 78 million. The number is still relatively small, it's less than 1% of the world's total population, but this number will continue to increase.
In the U.S. alone, in 2014, there were at least 4 million vegans and that number increased by 600% to 20 million in 2018. Not to mention if we talk about other countries. Proof that veganism is growing pretty fast is that more and more fashion and beauty brands have switched to cruelty-free and eco-friendly business methods. However, many vegans find it difficult to get vegan food options without looking for a restaurant that provides vegan food options.
One of the interesting efforts to make it easier for vegans to get vegan food is by making a vegan vending machine. In the U.K., precisely in Greater London, Hillingdon Hospital collaborates with the plant-based subscription company Vibrant Vegan and the Open Kitchen Co. to make hot vegan meal vending machines. The project aims to launch 500 vending machines in hospitals across the U.K. by 2023.
Adjusting to current pandemic conditions, the vending machines that will be launched by Open Kitchen Co. are equipped with touchless and COVID-proof technology, and it can also warm the food in less than four minutes. Vibrant Vegan also prepares nutritious vegan foods such as No-Meatball Bolognese, Super Mac & Cheese, Mumbai Cauli Thali, and many more. The Hillingdon also commissioned a survey showing that 78% of NHS staff would prefer vegan food if provided.
Vegan vending machines are not something new in the vegan world. As of 2017, Canada got its own vegan vending machine. In collaboration with The Green Moustache Organic Cafe, they provide nutritious vegan fast food such as Raw Pad Thai, Tumeric Ginger Cheesecake, and Collard Wraps.
In March 2019, Remi Toth, a teacher who is also a vegan, launched two vegan vending machines in Bristol to provide on-the-go vegan snacks. "When I went Vegan, I found it hard to find quick and easy on-the-go options in supermarkets. I wanted to make something where there was lots of room for choices of vegan food - and also to encourage other people who might not be vegan to give vegan food a try," she stated.