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How to get involved in vegan investments

In the past, veganism represented a very limited niche market. However, according to research between 2014 and 2019, the number of vegans in the UK has grown exponentially. In 2019, there were around 600,000 vegans (1.16% of the population), up from 150,000 (0.25% of the population) in 2014. With vegan investments becoming increasingly popular, assets from emerging markets, such as the vegan industry, could be an effective way to diversify your portfolio.

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The rise of veganism

The vegan food industry is flourishing, which is why Burger King, McDonald’s and other fast-food chains have started offering vegan alternatives to their traditional meat burgers. In 2019, vegan and plant-based food sales in the US increased 10 times faster than any other food sector. Many food giants have started to follow this trend, either by creating vegan options for their customers or by acquiring or investing in start-up vegan companies.

It seems clear that veganism is not going to be a temporary trend, but rather a lifestyle choice that is likely continue to grow and expand, not only within the food industry, but also in the beauty and fashion industries.

Cruelty-free and vegan companies have reached an estimated global worth of $15bn, and they are actually expected to top $40bn by 2025, for a compound annual growth rate of 17%.

How to invest in veganism

One way of investing in veganism is to buy and sell shares within the stock market for growing vegan companies, or by purchasing commodities outright, though this requires you to pay the full value upfront. You will also have to find somewhere to store the commodity when holding it for a long period of time.

An alternative way is to trade on these assets. Short-term trading entails opening buy or sell positions based on how you think the asset will perform in the future. This means that you can go both long and short on the market. Follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Register for an account. You will automatically receive access to a free demo account, which allows you to practise trading with virtual funds.
  2. Choose your product between spread betting and CFD trading. Learn more about the differences between the two.
  3. Choose your financial market and asset class, whether this be shares, commodities or ETFs. We offer over 10,000 instruments on our Next Generation trading platform.
  4. Decide whether to buy or sell. You can read our in-depth guide to different trading strategies to find one that suits your level of experience, personality and overall goals.
  5. Don’t forget about risk management. Stop-loss orders can help to minimise losses when trading in volatile markets, when your trade is more susceptible to slippage or gapping. In particular, our guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLOs) offer absolute protection.

Vegan stocks and shares

Vegan stocks are companies that are either entirely vegan or have transformed part of their business to accommodate the manufacturing and retailing of cruelty-free products. Although only a few fully vegan companies are publicly listed at the moment, some of the largest companies in the food, fashion and cosmetics sectors are dedicating entire lines to vegan products, in order to respond to growing demand.

Keep up to date with the evolution of veganism, for example, by reading our news and analysis section. This is updated on a daily basis with analysis and insights from our expert market analysts into the financial markets and upcoming trends.

Vegan companies to watch

Beyond Meat (BYND)

Beyond Meat is an American company based in Los Angeles, founded in 2009. Its three founders decided to invest in a project that could lead to the production of meat that would be fully plant-based, environmentally sustainable and above all, similar in flavour to animal alternatives.

The company launched its first product in the US market in 2013, and then expanded in 2016 with the sale of a vegan hamburger and other fake meat products, both nationally and internationally. Beyond Meat’s products are now available in 40 countries around the world, including restaurants and large-scale retail stores.

Bunge (BG)

Bunge is an American agricultural company which was established in Bermuda and is now based in Illinois. Bunge buys, sells, stores, transports and processes oilseeds and grains. In addition to exporting soybeans, it's also involved in food processing and in the sale and purchase of wheat and fertilisers. The company has also merged with oil supermajor BP to create more environmentally-friendly energy solutions in the biopower market.

Ingredion (INGR)

Illinois-based Ingredion is a multinational supplier of food ingredients. Examples include starch, including modified starches and starch sugars such as glucose syrup and high fructose syrup. These are extracted from plant sources like corn, tapioca, rice, sago and potatoes. Ingredion was named as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere in 2019.

e.l.f Cosmetics (ELF)

e.l.f Cosmetics is an American cosmetics manufacturer and retailer of skincare and make-up products. It's especially popular with the younger population, and has more than 20 million followers on social media. Most of its sales are generated by its e-commerce store and social media channels.

The company claims that its products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, making it a potentially popular investment choice for a younger audience.

Hain Celestial Group (HAIN)

Hain Celestial Group is an American food producer which owns a number of plant-based brands. This includes non-dairy products from DREAM and meat alternatives from Yves Veggie Cuisine. The company is dedicated to creating more organic and vegan-based products in its food and personal care product lines.

Else Nutrition (BABY)

Else Nutrition is an Israeli food and nutrition company for babies and toddlers. It's one of the first to offer a completely plant-based formula, which is also dairy, soy and gluten-free. It claims to use 92% whole-food ingredients and a natural production process. This company and stock may appeal to vegan parents that are interested in introducing a plant-based lifestyle to their children.

United Natural Foods (UNFI)

United Natural Foods is an American distributor and retailer of natural and organic food products. Its wholesale segment deals with the distribution of organic food and vegetables in the US and Canada, while its ‘other’ segment includes a retail division, which sells nuts, seeds, dried fruit and snack items. The company offered more than 110,000 natural and organic foods.

Trade on vegan and plant-based companies

How to trade on vegan commodities

Soft commodities represent an alternative way to ride the vegan wave. As veganism and plant-based diets become increasingly popular, so does the demand for meat-substitute products, such as beans, nuts, grains, soy and fruits, just to name a few. Below is a sample of vegan commodities that you can trade on our Next Generation trading platform.

What is a soft commodity?

CocoaCoffee ArabicaCoffee Robusta
CornOatsOrange juice
RiceSoybeanRaw sugar
White sugarUS CocoaWheat

Learn how to trade on commodities. You can also trade on a basket of vegan commodities through our Agricultural Index. This index contains most of the above-mentioned commodities and allows you to trade on multiple assets with a single position, which can also help to spread and offset risk.

Vegan investment portfolio

The vegan industry can be a good way to diversify your investment portfolio. This is because traders can speculate on vegan assets including company shares, commodities and, in the future, exchange-traded funds​ (ETFs), which aim to track a collection of assets.

If you're interested in other similar investments, read our article on ethical stocks to watch, which focus on farming, clean energy and electricity.

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