The veganism trend has blown up in recent years with a 600% increase in the amounts of US citizens identifying as vegan. The global market for vegetarian and vegan products was worth nearly 45 Billion Euro in 2016 and continues to be the fastest growing sector in the food industry. Restaurants and takeaways need to be up-to-date on the new trends and shifts in the industry in order to compete.
With the growing awareness of the environmental impacts of animal agriculture, along with a concern for animal welfare and more sustainable food choices, restaurants must now respond to the rising demand for vegan, vegetarian and plant-based diners.
What is the difference between plant-based and vegan?
Veganism is an ethical term concerned with the avoidance of all animal products, including clothing, footwear, skincare products, etc. Being vegan is also heavily associated with fruit and vegetables, and vast health improvements. Many of us overlook the fact that vegan food does not necessarily equate to healthier food. I'm talking, chips, Oreos, breads, cereals...and plenty more. Herein lies the biggest differentiator. Plant-based lifestyles place the emphasis on whole foods; eliminating processed ones and eating fresh produce as much as possible. People are taking an interest in knowing where their food comes from and how it is produced.
The past few months we have seen a rise of a new type of eater, the flexitarian. These people eat almost everything but are choosing to implement a more plant-based lifestyle by cutting down their consumption of animal products but not eliminating them from their diet entirely. Flexitarians are replacing meat and dairy with alternatives derived from soya, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.
Reasons you should consider changing your menu:
#1 Have a Broader Appeal
Build yourself a reputation as a creative plant-based food-maker ready to tackle animal-free menus. Providing more choices on your menu gives your restaurant a broader appeal. If a group are looking for somewhere to eat together, they will seek out a place that caters for everyone's dietary needs and preferences. And if you think about it, the pickiest eater will always get the final say. If you don’t have a vegan, gluten-free or plant-based option on your menu, you could be losing a whole host of customers.
#2 Capitalise on Flavour
Conscientious millennials are the leading the changes both as business owners and consumers. It is not enough to offer up bland salads, dull soups and flavourless bowls of veg. The businesses that are profiting the most from veganism are those that are constantly innovating and experimenting with their vegan-friendly recipes. Taste is still the most important aspect for your consumers, so get creative with your dishes!
#3 Stay Ahead of the Trends
It is not vegans who are driving the rise of meat and dairy-free alternatives, however. 92% of plant-based meals consumed in the UK in 2018 were eaten by non-vegans. People are no longer subscribing to the old ways of thinking about food and where every meal is centred around meat. Social media has contributed greatly to the spread of "Meat-free Monday" and "Veganuary" as ways of showing people you don’t have to have meat in every meal and that vegetables can be cooked in various delicious ways!
Flipdish Client Spotlight- Sprout & Co.
"Sprout & Co. are committed to supporting small and mid-size farmers who are farming sustainably, to creating transparency around what’s in your food and where it came from, and also to creating a simple approach to healthy, real food for more people."
Sprout & Co. began its journey in 2013 as a Juice Bar offering cold pressed juices and smoothies that are tasty, pure, unprocessed and carefully sourced from local vegetable suppliers. The success of their business led to the opening of the first Sprout & Co. Kitchen in 2015 and the addition of five new locations across Dublin and Meath. Enter any of their healthy salad bars and you will be met with a colourful, fresh menu featuring whole foods and locally-sourced seasonal vegetables.
The company grow the majority of their produce themselves on their Sprout farm in Kildare. Working closely with local farmers and sourcing the best ingredients reflects their 'food positive' ethos. Their mission is to provide simple, pure, interesting food, made entirely from scratch, and to revolutionise fast food.
Our food is designed to offer nourishment and pleasure, and above all, you should feel better for having had it.
If you wish to find out more about what Flipdish can do for you, click on the links below!
- Restaurants and Sustainability
- Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction: Best Practices
- Enhance your business on Instagram
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