Hospitality: Planting the seeds of success

As the popularity of plantbased eating continues to grow, savvy caterers are publicising their vegan offering by supporting key campaigns.

One of the biggest is Veganuary, a charity event which encourages people to try a vegan diet throughout the month of January. Many of those taking part combine Veganuary with their ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and see trying vegan as the healthiest start to the year.

Across Britain, people are spending more money on vegan products, and plant-based diets are constantly trending online; with more than 3.5million people in the UK now identifying as vegan and more than 60million #vegan hashtags being posted to Instagram.

Veganuary has seen more than a quarter of a million participants since its 2014 launch. Most of the people involved are from English speaking countries, especially America and the UK, and Veganuary 2018 was the biggest year yet with 168,500 registered participants from 165 countries.

Rich Hardy, head of campaigns for Veganuary, said: “Professional chefs and caterers should be prepared, very prepared! “There’s a big buzz in the industry around Veganuary – and for January 2019 it’s louder than ever. It’s understandable – hundreds of thousands of consumers will be trying vegan for the first time, and exploring new brands and new ways of eating. “But it’s not just the vegans that retailers are catering for. For everyone going vegan, there are five or ten people who are actively reducing the amount of meat, fish or dairy products they consume. That might be for health reasons, for environmental reasons, or because of the animals. “In fact, Veganuary has a bigger impact on the industry by supporting people who end up reducing their consumption, rather than cutting out non-vegan products entirely.”

How to promote Veganary

Samantha Calvert, head of communications for The Vegan Society, advises:

The key thing is to make sure that people know that you are catering for vegans. So as well as contacting your local newspapers or radio stations who will probably be interested because it ties in with an awareness campaign, I would also suggest making contact with your local vegan and animal rights groups. Most will have Facebook groups and searching for your town or area and ‘vegan’ will be enough to find them. Contact the group’s admins to ask for permission to post something.

The Vegan Society has a list of groups and local contacts that can be found here

Meanwhile on the other side of the Pond…

A new study has found that vegan dining is so profitable for restaurants in America, that more than half (51%) of chefs added plant-based options to their menus in 2018, a 31% increase on last year.

The news makes it even easier to adopt a vegan diet, with businesses keen to meet the growing demand for plant-based food. Restaurants that added vegan options saw a 13% rise in business as a result – despite the overall number of people in the US visiting restaurants falling.

>> Click here to read the rest of the Nov / Dec 2018 issue of the Stir it up magazine <<

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