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Online searches for vegan and plant-based foods skyrocketed by 417 per cent on Asda’s website, as the “Veganuary” trend continues to pick up steam.

Searches on the supermarket’s website beat milk, meat, eggs and fish to number one spot after more than 63,000 people looked for vegan products at the start of 2020, up from over 12,000 in 2019.

It comes as Asda launches its first ever vegan range with 48 products offering meat-free alternatives, using mushrooms rather than soy.

Julie Wild, Asda own-brand strategy & governance manager, said:“For the first four days of January 2020, the search term ‘vegan’ ranked above everyday items such as ‘bread’, ‘milk’, ‘eggs’ and low-fat proteins, such as chicken, on the Asda website.

'Usually shoppers would look for staples and healthier alternatives at the start of a New Year, as they are prompted to try to lose weight, save money and live better.

“This change in behaviour demonstrates a real increase in desire from our customers to follow plant-based or flexitarian diets.”

According to Asda its vegan katsu curry sold 92 per cent more than expected in the first half of January.

Asda says its mushroom-based meat alternatives gives its products a greater, more savoury umami flavour, as well as offering more nutrition.