Remember the news about Veganz, the world’s first all-vegan supermarket chain that was set to open all across Europe? In the three years since the big announcement, founder Jan Bredack has seen a fair amount of success in achieving his dream; he was able to open nine locations. On top of that, 80 percent of his customer base was neither vegan nor vegetarian, showing that even meat eaters are interested in vegan food. Now, let’s flash forward to 2017. According to German news website The Local, Veganz “will close at least four of its nine of its branches after announcing its bankruptcy in December,” citing “a lack of demand” as the reason. Sound right? Well, not exactly…

At first glance, one might read “a lack of demand” as meaning that the demand for vegan food in Europe is declining. But Bredack told German newspaper Lebensmittel Zeitung that “the model of the vegan supermarket outstripped itself, because of the growing supply of vegan [products].” So, what we can draw from this statement is not that people are losing interest in vegan food, but that more and more grocery stores have started to accommodate the growing demand and stock an ample amount of products on shelves.

In fact, the plant-based food space has grown rapidly in just two years’ time, with the industry reaching a $3.5 billion worth with an 8.7 percent growth. It’s not uncommon to find plant-based alternatives in most grocery stores. In Germany in particular, there so many vegetarian and vegan sausage options that the agriculture minister is claiming that customers are confusing them with the real thing (Yes, we agree it’s ridiculous – but speaks to the ubiquity of plant-based options!).

So while the bankruptcy of Veganz might make its regulars sad, it’s really not all that bad. It just shows that the demand for alternatives to meat and dairy has gotten so big that it’s no longer necessary to pick up your favorite product from a specialty store. But FYI, there will be (many) tears if the same thing happens Brooklyn-based vegan cheese shop, Riverdel Fine Foods.

Thankfully, bankruptcy won’t be putting founder Bredack entirely out of business. The Local concludes that “Bredack plans to focus his efforts on wholesale and catering — the company supplies major chains including Metro and Famila with its products.” Yet again, another sign there is a demand for vegan products, but we’re quickly entering a time where people are able to find even vegan cold cuts in everyday grocery stores.

If you’re looking to find more plant-based options in your area or learn more about what’s available, check out One Green Planet’s Future of Food. 

Lead image source: kurhan/Shutterstock