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Asda unveils the nation’s most unlikely Veganuary Participant – meat-loving MAFS star Zoe Clifton

The unexpected partnership will see committed carnivore Zoe Clifton go vegan for the month of January, as new data reveals over half (56%) of Brits are put off by a plant-based diet because they see it as boring (21%) and bland (18%)

    January 2, 2023 09:55am
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    • This January, diehard meat-lover, vegan-food hating Married at First Sight star Zoe Clifton is attempting to go vegan for a month as Asda’s unlikely Veganuary volunteer
    • The campaign comes as new research reveals more than half (56%) of Brits would never go vegan, with over one in five (21%) of these saying they would shun a plant-based diet because they deem vegan food ‘boring’
    • The data also reveals over one in ten (11%) Brits wouldn’t date a vegan, with almost a third (30%) of these citing the fact they wouldn’t be able to cook together as the reason, whilst a quarter (25%) say it’s potential arguments about food that put them off
    • The unlikely new partnership will see renowned vegan-sceptic Zoe eating products from Asda’s new OMV! and Plant Based by Asda ranges throughout the month of January, before sharing her verdict on vegan cuisine

    Zoe Clifton and Jenna Robinson seemed like a match made in heaven on Channel 4’s Married at First Sight. That was until committed carnivore Zoe discovered that Jenna was a vegan, and the relationship hit a bump in the road. Yet they remain the only couple still together from this last season, despite the die-hard differences around the dinner table.

    Now, in an unlikely turn of events, vegan-sceptic Zoe is vowing to go vegan for the month of January as she steps into a new role as she steps into a new role as the official Ambassador for Asda’s new vegan ranges: OMV! and Plant Based by Asda. For 31-days, Zoe will drop the dairy and swap meat-based burgers, pies, pizzas, curries, and fry-ups for the vegan alternatives from the new OMV! and Plant Based by Asda ranges, before offering up her verdict on vegan cuisine, helped along the way by partner Jenna.

    The announcement comes as new a new study reveals that despite plant-based diets becoming more mainstream in the last decade, over half (56%) of Brits would still never consider going vegan. Top reasons cited for spurning a plant-based diet include that respondents would miss meat and dairy too much (51%), a vegan diet is boring (21%), vegan food is bland and lacks flavour (18%), there is a lack of tasty vegan snacks or comfort food options (11%) and concerns over the lack of choice and variation in a plant-based diet (10%).

    Zoe is not alone in her trepidation about having a vegan partner. One in ten (11%) Brits say that they wouldn’t date a vegan, or if they did, they’d be reluctant to do so (8%). A third of these (30%) are put off by the fact they wouldn’t be able to cook together or enjoy the same meals as their partner, whilst a quarter (25%) are deterred by the possibility of arguments around food.

    Over one in five (21%) would pass on a vegan paramour because it would be an issue when visiting friends and family or dining out, whilst one in five (20%) would find it difficult to know what to cook.

    In partnering with staunch meat-lover Zoe, Asda hopes to challenge existing perceptions about a vegan diet and debunk the myth that vegan food is dull and lacks flavour.

    The brand’s new OMV! range features delicious comfort food options, for those looking to reduce their meat intake with vegan alternatives that don’t compromise on flavour. The tempting OMV! range includes everything from creamy Macaroni Cheese to Hot and Spicy No-Chicken Burgers and decadent Chocolate Brownies, whilst Plant Based by Asda celebrates the flavour of plants and is designed for those looking for tasty, healthy meals – think Plant Based Bean Burgers and Plant Based Meat-Free Meatballs. All products in the Plant Based by Asda range are nutritionally approved and in line with Asda’s Live Better promise to help customers enjoy healthy, sustainable diets.

    Over 80 new products are launching across Asda’s OMV! and Plant Based by Asda ranges this January, available in-store now and launching online from Tuesday 3rd January. All products in both the OMV! and Plant Based by Asda ranges are Vegan Society approved.

    Zoe’s progress can be followed on Instagram at @zoeclifton and @jennarobo, and on TikTok at @zoeclifton and @jennathegayvegan, where the pair will be posting regular updates.

    Zoe Clifton, Veganuary ambassador for Asda, comments: “This time last year, I’d never have contemplated dating a vegan as I had more love for meat. One year on not only am I in a relationship with a vegan, but I’m also going meat and dairy free.  As my family and friends know, this is a very big challenge, but I’ve been assured that I won’t be able to taste the difference between plant-based alternatives. Jenna will be there to support me and stop me sneaking off for a cheeky fry-up.”

    Jenna Robinson, Zoe’s partner, comments: “Whilst I never thought this day would come, I’m over the moon that Zoe is opening her mind to my way of life. I’m anticipating some ups and downs along the way, but I’m so looking forward to giving Zoe an insight into my lifestyle and proving her wrong about a plant-based diet being boring. Let the challenge begin!”

    Jessica Cole, Senior Director of Asda Own Brand, comments: “We’re incredibly excited to announce Zoe Clifton as our ambassador for the launch of OMV! and Plant Based by Asda. Whilst we already have a loyal base of shoppers who follow vegan and flexitarian diets, we want to open this up and challenge existing stereotypes surrounding the quality of vegan food – stereotypes that are clearly still prevalent in society as research shows.

    “In working with Zoe, we hope we will inspire even devoted meat-eaters to give vegan food a chance. The OMV! range is a great place to start if you’re looking to cut down on meat but don’t want to compromise on flavour, and the Plant Based by Asda range provides options that are healthy, delicious, nutritionist-approved and carry Asda’s Live Better icon. We’re extremely proud of our new vegan and plant based ranges, which offer a breadth of choice and quality you won’t see anywhere else. We can’t wait for customers to try them and hope they love them as much as we do.”

    Throughout January, customers who spend £5 on vegan own-brand products (OMV! and Plant Based by Asda) can also earn £1 back in their cash pot in the Asda Rewards app.

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