Attending a meat-eating friend’s barbecue as a vegan can be a bit of a minefield; if everything is cooked on the same grill, you run the risk of your plant-based fare getting contaminated with meat juices.

As a result, Argos has announced the launch of the world's first ever ‘vegan’ barbecue – but all is not as it seems.

To cater to the needs of Britain’s ever-increasing vegan population, the retailer is now offering a charcoal barbecue for £9.99 which is specifically marketed towards plant-based eaters.

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On the website, the product description claims that it is the “world’s first ever vegan barbecue” and is “designed to cook corn on the cobs, peppers and more to flame-grilled perfection.”

But, while the perils of finding somewhere to cook your food at a carnivorous gathering are very real, the spontaneous launch is raising a few eyebrows.

Despite Argos announcing the launch of the Vegan Round Charcoal BBQ today, the product is no different to a standard barbecue and already has more than 300 customer reviews – some of which are accompanied by photos of the barbecue in use, meaty burgers and all.

As such, the cynics among us would argue that the retailer has simply renamed an existing product to jump on the vegan bandwagon.

In response to the criticism, Argos has admitted that the so-called 'vegan' barbecue is in fact exactly the same as one of its existing products.

We took one of our most popular barbecues and re-launched it especially for the ever-growing vegan market," a spokesperson tells The Independent

"We think that veg deserves a chance to be King of the BBQ too!"

Of course, Argos isn’t the first retailer to fail at embracing the vegan trend. Earlier this year, Marks & Spencer received a barrage of criticism for selling a cauliflower steak for twice the price of a typical cauliflower.

Sold as part of the Marks & Spencer vegetarian range, each serving came with two slices of cauliflower and a sachet of lemon and herb dressing for £2, while a whole regular cauliflower was sold for £1.

In response to the backlash, Marks & Spencer announced that it would not be ordering any more of the product.

A recent survey conducted by Compare The Market revealed that there has been a huge rise in the number of people becoming vegan in the past couple of years, with 3.5 million Brits now following a plant-based diet.

Click here for Argos discount codes

 

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