Let’s Talk Vegan

It’s November which means its World Vegan Month and we’re looking into the trend which has taken over 2019.

Many people assumed veganism wouldn’t catch on, but this year has definitely disproved this. Whether it be the controversy over Gregg’s vegan sausage roll or the promise of added health benefits, it’s been a recurring conversation. A new survey by Finder claims that this is likely to continue, estimating the UK vegan population to skyrocket by 327% by 2020.

For various reasons, more and more consumers are likely to adopt a vegan diet or reduce their meat consumption due to growing concern over the health and environmental impact of the meat manufacturing process. A recent article in The Guardian shows plant-based meals have even become the UK’s fastest-growing choice of takeaway. Orders of vegan takeaways increased 388% between 2016 and 2018 according to research by the British Takeaway Campaign. The online takeaway platform Deliveroo reported vegan orders had quadrupled over the past 2 years and the number of vegan restaurants on the app has increased by 168% in the last 12 months.

This drastic increase in meat-free meals is something pubs and restaurants have had to adapt to by rethinking their menus to cater to the demand in plant-based meals.

An article in the Morning Advertiser quotes Dominika Piasecka, a spokeswoman for The Vegan Society:

If a group of friends, including a vegan, are eating out, they will not dine at a place with no vegan options, so it really pays for pubs to be offering decent vegan food.”

With this said, many pubs have begun to adapt their menus to become more vegan-friendly.  For example, Marston’s introduced the B12 burger to its menu last year. Stonegate Pub Company has also made a deal with Moving Mountains and become the first pub company to introduce the “bleeding” burger and hotdog to their menus in August 2019.

In an article with Business Live, Jessica Dixon, Marketing Manager at Stonegate said:

“We’ve had an increasing demand from millennials to add more plant-based options to our menus to cater to the growth of young people driving the meat-free movement, who also demand the latest technology.”

By adding these to the menu, it provides an understanding of the up and coming diet trends. Plus, it caters to the demand millennials are leading for vegan and meat-free meals and therefore is likely to drive sales.

However, are pubs still lacking in their meat-free alternative dishes? According to a recent article in Pub and Bar Magazine, veganism has become an important and profitable trend with 29% of consumers looking for vegan-friendly menus. Despite the increase in pubs adding vegan dishes to their menus, research conducted by Lantmännen Unibake’s Gourmet Burger Bun brand has concluded that 62% of consumers feel that vegan burgers do not match the quality and variety of their meat-based counterparts.

This is notable for pubs, restaurants, and bars to consider as the vegan and vegetarian trend is predicted to be worth £1.1 billion by 2023. Although there has been a significant increase in meat-free dishes available on menus, it is clear there still space in the market for pubs and restaurants to efficiently target these consumers by varying the meat alternative options available