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The importance of vegan options

With a growing number of people opting to follow a vegan lifestyle, offering well-thought out and creative plant-based products and dishes on your menu is vital.

As consumers become more health-conscious, they’re choosing to cut animal products completely from their diets and, according to Kantar, the plant-based meal market is now worth £3.4billion, with dairy alternatives worth £520million and meal alternatives worth £480million.

Many consumers have a keen interest in foodie culture and are well-researched when it comes to global cuisines and new food concepts, so it is important that this is reflected in your menu planning. A quarter of Millennials identify as vegan or vegetarians, as do one in eight children aged eight to 16, so it’s important to appeal to a younger audience too. Being inventive and innovative will pay dividends.

Flex your muscles

55% of UK consumers claim they are actively reducing or considering reducing their meat intake, according to IGD. Referred to as “flexitarians”, these meat-reducers are responsible for eating 92% of plant-based meals in the UK.

According to research by the British Takeaway Campaign, the sector has responded quickly to changes in consumer appetites and vegan orders increased by 388% between 2016 and 2018.

New Year, new menu

The New Year offers the ideal opportunity to refresh your menus and this traditionally quieter trading period allows time to experiment with new ingredients and dishes.

January also heralds the launch of Veganuary, which is the perfect opportunity to trial new menu options and attract new customers.

Our chefs and technicians have been busy creating vegan options from ice cream to KFC and chocolate truffles to help inspire your menus.

With more and more consumers demanding meat-free alternatives, it’s vital that food businesses cater for their needs and now is the perfect time to jump in.

Veganuary, the numbers

Over 400,000 people took part in Veganuary in January 2020 citing the following reasons for their motivation:

  • 38% health
  • 37% animal welfare
  • 18% environment
  • 7% other
  • 72% of Veganuary 2020 participants who reported they had maintained a vegan diet throughout January said they now plan to stay vegan
  • 93% of those participants who aren’t committed to stay vegan after Veganuary said they were ‘somewhat likely’, ‘very likey’ or ‘extremely likely’ to try veganism again the future

More than 600 businesses took part in Veganuary last year, while more than 1,200 plant-based products and menus were launched, including Gregg’s Vegan Steak Bake, Pizza Hut’s Pepperphoni Pizza and KFC’s Zero Chicken Burger.

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