Orders of vegan meals have grown by five times in the last two years and it is the fastest growing choice of takeaway food in the United Kingdom even though it is not close to providing any competition to chicken chow mein as the favourite takeaway of the country.
On occasions when UK households do not want to cook or do not have the time, the new dishes that are challenging doner kebabs and tikka masala are burgers made from black beans, sweet potato and quinoa as well as vegan “fried chicken”, among others.
It is believed that in 2018, there were about 600,000 vegan people in the UK. According to research by the British Takeaway Campaign, between 2016 and 2018, there was a growth of 388 per cent in the number of “flexitarians” who are those who elect to reduce consumption of animal meat and products in their meals while there was a 137 per cent increase in vegetarian orders.
Over the last two years, in comparison to the favourite cuisines of the UK – Indian and Chinese, there was a greater growth of Pakistani, Greek, Persian and Turkish takeaways. Analysts say that this reflects a growing cosmopolitanism nature of appetites in the UK. The slowest growth, less than 1 per cent, in takeaway was reported for English takeaways which is a blow for the proponents of fish and chips. At the same time, there has been a growth in the proportion average household expenditure for takeaways against the food expenditure at 15 per cent compared to about 11 per cent in 2015.
Over the past two years, the growth in vegan orders has increased four folds, reported the online delivery platform Deliveroo. It said that there was a growth of 168 per cent in the number of vegan restaurants on the app in the last 12 months which was the fastest growing category on the platform. Wagamama’s vegatsu version of katsu curry, Pizza Express’ vegan margarita and the smoky chorizo and cheese burger from Arancini Brothers were the top-selling vegan dishes on the platform last month. The highest number of vegan orders on the platform was recorded in June 2019.
“As people look for healthier and more diverse eating options, they aren’t turning away from takeaways, they are turning towards them,” said Ibrahim Dogus, the chairman of the British Takeaway Campaign.
Data showed the highest spending on takeaways by households was made by Northern Irish households with an average spending of £57 a month while the least spending was those in the east Midlands.
Vegans and people who want to eat fewer animal products are increasingly being targeted by mainstream caterers. A vegan pasta arrabiata was introduced in its in-flight service in January by the airline Jet2 and a vegan lasagna was added by Ryanair in April. A vegan biryani and tagine is offered on its planes by Thomas Cook.
On the other hand, vegan versions of all its best-selling products are being developed by the bakers Greggs, it announced recently.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)