Why our vegan dishes are becoming a preferred option
The number of vegan dishes we served in the last 12 months in our meetings and event venues has doubled. However, since 2018 there has been no significant increase in the proportion of consumers who say they are vegan. So, why the increase? Well, we think it's down to the quality and variety of the vegan dishes we offer; that's why so many delegates are choosing them.
Consumers are changing what they consume
A look at what the British public are buying from supermarkets and research reveals the remarkable growth of this fast-developing trend. Mintel reports that sales of meat-free foods have grown an impressive 40% from £582 million in 2014 to an estimated £816 million in 2019. The proportion of meat eaters who have reduced or limited the amount of meat they consume has risen from 28% in 2017 to 39% in 2019.
Our dishes go further than simply ticking the box
Malik Fseil, Head Chef at etc.venues County Hall reveals the three essentials of a great vegan option.
1. It needs to have all the right nutritional values balanced in order to be healthy. This includes proteins, dairy alternatives and carbohydrates.
2. The dish should not feel like an alternative or substitute. Some of the great traditionally meat dishes can be adapted to be as tasty and exciting as a vegan dish.
3. The dish needs to be creative and exciting but not too unusual as to put you off.
It's our most creative dishes that are proving the most popular. It's easy to see the attraction of an afternoon tea option of pecan nut carrot cake, with strawberry and lime icing served with lemon, mint and ginger iced tea (pictured above).
Getting nutritional value right in our dishes
So, what's the secret to great vegan food? Marek Dabrowski, Head CHef at etc.venues 133 Houndsditch, shares his thoughts:
"The key is to use fresh, delicious ingredients that stimulate the body and mind during a meeting or event. Four our lunches we use plant-based proteins like tofu, tempeh, soya products, seitan, lentils, seeds, nuts and beans so that many dishes are both vegan and nutritious."