|Type||GmbH (limited partnership)|
|Founded||Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, Germany, 2011|
|Headquarters||Schivelbeiner Straße 34, 10439 Berlin|
|Number of locations||Seven, as of 2013|
Veganz GmbH is the first vegan supermarket chain in Europe. Based in Germany, the company opened its first store in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg in the summer of 2011, with 250 square metres of space, and by 2013 had stores in Berlin Friedrichshain, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Prague and Vienna. It plans to open in Essen, Cologne, Leipzig and London in 2014, and to have 21 stores across Europe by the end of 2015.
The chain was founded in 2011 by Jan Bredack, a former senior manager with Mercedes Benz and himself a vegan, with an investment of three million euros. The chain is run as a franchise, with Bredack retaining 50 percent ownership of each store. The company motto is "Wir lieben Leben" (we love life).
Veganz supermarkets sell only vegan goods. The company offers 6,000 products from 200 suppliers in 30 countries, including 45 different kinds of plant milk and cream, vegan ice-creams, mayonnaise and other dressings, mock meats, fish substitutes such as veggie fish steaks, breads, pastries, and 80 vegan cheeses. Eighty percent of its produce comes from biodynamic crops. There is vegan chocolate, biscuits, sweets, food for companion animals, coffee, toiletries and cosmetics. In addition to the supermarkets, the company offers a catering service, cookery classes, workshops on vegan food, and movie nights. There is also an online store.
According to Bredack, most of his customers are between 18 and 34 years old, although the over-55 age group is increasing. About 60 percent of the customers are vegan and 10 percent of them are tourists. Given the demographics, the company looks for locations in university cities that have a tourism industry. Bredack told the Berliner Zeitung that when he opened his first store in Berlin he had anticipated 100 customers a day, but instead averaged 400, and doubled his turnover after the first year to 1.5 million euros.
Veganism in Germany
Vegans abstain from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, while vegetarians do not eat meat, but may eat dairy products and eggs. Both veganism and vegetarianism are increasing in Europe, including in Germany, traditionally a country of heavy meat consumption; each person there eats 132 pounds of meat annually. The German Vegetarian Society estimates that there are seven million vegetarians in that country (eight to nine percent of the population), the second highest number in the European Union after Italy. The figure includes 800,000 vegans.
As of January 2013 there were 11 vegan restaurants, snack bars and cafes in Berlin. That year the Munich Oktoberfest offered vegan dishes for the first time in its 200-year history; instead of the usual pork and dumplings, customers could order ginger carrot soup, soy medallions, and vegan Käsespätzle. Bredack told the Berliner Zeitung that "[v]egan is the new organic."
- Antonia Molloy, "No meat, no dairy, no problem: is 2014 the year vegans become mainstream?", The Independent, 31 December 2013.
- "Die Pflanzenesser kommen!", veganz.de
- Abigail Wick, "A Curious Road From Mercedes-Benz To Veganz", National Public Radio, 10 October 2011.
- Homepage, veganz.de
- "Ueber Veganz", veganz.de
- "Kochkurse", veganz.de; Susie Mesure, "Veganism 2.0: Let them eat kale", The Independent, 8 December 2013.
- Online store, veganz.de
- Jutta Maier, "Vegan ist das neue Bio", Berliner Zeitung, 18 January 2013.
- Ryan Berry, "Veganism" and "Vegetarianism," in Andrew F. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 604–605, 607–609.
- Amy Guttman, "Meat-Drenched Oktoberfest Warms To Vegans", National Public Radio, 4 October 2013.
- Pohr, Adrian. "Von Daimler Benz zum Veganismus" (video interview with Jan Bredack), Zeit Online, 29 October 2013.