Veganism is going mainstream. Are you ready?

In their New Year editions, big hitting publications like “The Economist” and “Forbes” declared 2019 as the year of veganism going mainstream.

The facts and figures are certainly astounding, especially since vegans were often regarded until very recently as a niche sub-culture of yak wool jumper wearing yogis.

  • 3.5 million people in the UK identify as vegan, up from just 540,00 in 2016
  • A full quarter of 25 to 34-year-old Americans claim to be vegan or vegetarian, up from 3.4% who did so in 2015
  • Gregg’s has just launched vegan sausage rolls (a masterclass, imho, of a PR exercise)
  • McDonald’s, the very meatiest of all fast-food restaurants, has started selling McVegan burgers
  • Meat substitutes are beginning to well and truly look and taste like meat…
  • .. and there’s a surge in non-meat meaty snacks, such as “pork” rinds, “beef” jerky & “bacon” treats
  • The big supermarket chains are launching or expanding their vegan ranges. Asda, for example, has just released a line of vegan-friendly lunches

There are multiple reasons for this huge rise in vegans and the willingness to cater for them besides an aversion to cruelty to animals. There are more people than ever with allergies, as a society we are becoming more health-conscious, and, most significantly, there is now much increased awareness of and reaction to the environmental impact of meat production.

So, as a hospitality business owner, what are you doing about it?

I have to confess that despite being an early adopter of gluten-free dishes in my business, I’ve been much slower to cater for vegans.  While I recognised years ago that people with coeliac disease wanted more choice than chocolate brownie or chocolate brownie, it took until last year for me to expand my options for vegan home baking from date slice or flapjack. But I have been quick to react to the growing numbers of vegans and have researched tasty alternatives such as Victoria sponge and avocado & courgette cake. Tasty, creative salads are a no-brainer, and sourcing fantastic quality vegan sausages and haggis was one of my missions last year. No-one should miss out on a great breakfast, after all.

So, whether you believe in veganism or not – and I understand that opinions on the issue remain divisive – it makes great commercial sense to cater for this ever-growing market.

But, if you’re gonna do it, do it properly with 100% no compromise on taste, flavour or texture.

Victus can help you with your food & beverage offering, including designing and costing and sourcing great ingredients for vegan dishes. Please call us on 07732 454 639 or email andrew@victusconsultancy.co.uk for more information.