More Than Meat, a company that makes meat-style foods from vegetable proteins and without eggs and dairy, noted a 360% increase in the number of vegans in the UK in the past 10 years.
Major pub brands such as JD Wetherspoon had also started to give more focus to vegetarian and vegan menus, in a bid to capitalise on the growth of meat and dairy-free customers.
Big bucks from vegan food:
"Taking a conservative estimate that two additional food purchases would net £30 at a gross profit margin of 50%, that’s an additional £15 per outlet per day or nearly £5,400 a year in additional profit"
The rise of flexitarianism was also on the radars of pubs and pub groups, with a predicted 35% of the UK adult population now interested in consuming non-animal protein-based meals at least once a week, More Than Meat said.
Fewer animal-based products
Despite some pubs and pub groups paying more attention to a rise in demand for fewer animal-based foods, there were currently limited ready-made options on the market for operators, claimed founder Barry Honeycombe.
“Our new foodservice products effectively fast-track and empower chefs to quickly create their own unique range of plant-based/vegan offerings for their customers,” he said.
The vegan chorizo sausages could be used in cold sandwiches or hot in dishes such as wraps, paninis or tomato-based recipes.
“Our vegan ‘lamb’ can be used to create a huge variety of options, including shepherd’s pie, moussaka, tagines, curries, kebabs or even a traditional roast lamb and gravy,” Honeycombe continued.
Number of vegans in the UK
Based on the number of vegans in the UK, More Than Meat predicted the average foodservice business not offering vegan alternatives could be losing out on between two and five meal orders a day, based on a footfall of around 100 customers a day.
Honeycombe added: “Taking a conservative estimate that two additional food purchases would net £30 at a gross profit margin of 50%, that’s an additional £15 per outlet per day or nearly £5,400 a year in additional profit.”
Last year, The Morning Advertiser reported the pub trade was missing out on the vegan food market and needed to try harder to gain capital from rising demand.
According to VegFest vegan events organiser Tim Barford, pub chefs had to do more to cater for the UK's growing vegan population.