Veganuary has been hitting new heights every year and 2024 looks like it will be no different. With the number of participants growing and maintaining the change in their diet beyond January, it is an event operators can no longer ignore. As the festive season dies down, Veganuary is a great way to capitalise on an international trend to boost sales in what has traditionally been a quieter trading month. No matter the sector or catering specialism, this is an event that can be tailored to meet audiences young, old and every stage in between.
BING-YU LEE: Kikkoman
Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce is a must have ingredient for a vegan menu because it’s very rich in umami. With vegan foods umami can add that deep savoury flavour and intensifies the taste of the other ingredients too. It can be used in vegan burgers, drizzled on the burger after it has been cooked, or use it in combination with other umami ingredients such as tomatoes and mushrooms in stir fries, for stuffings, pancakes and dumplings. It is also great in rice dishes from risotto to crispy baked rice. When cooking tofu-based dishes, Kikkoman Soy Sauce is a must as it imparts the flavour that is synonymous with Asian dishes.
JASMINE CLARK: Senior Environment Campaigner, Viva!
Going vegan this Veganuary? Viva!’s support materials and Vegan Recipe Club can help! As the number of vegans grows, restaurants can join in too, helping pave the way towards planet-friendly food by making 50 per cent of their menu vegan by the end of 2025. This is the focus of Viva!’s latest 50 by 25 campaign. Expanding plant-based options enables customers to choose dishes that are better for the environment and just as tasty. It’s the perfect time to try vegan fish, our Vegan Salmon Fillet shows you can have the taste of the sea without fish. Our Spanish White Wine Lentils, Vegetable Dhansak, Golden ‘Chicken’ and Leek Pies are full of plant-based protein but have a lower carbon footprint than their meaty equivalents, while our Easy Rocky Road and Raspberry & White Chocolate Blondies are dairy-free, so have a low carbon footprint but score high in taste!
KATIE ATKIN: Brand Manager, Cooks&Co
Our Cooks&Co vegan pesto is a useful addition to busy kitchens looking to add flavour and colour to vegan dishes this Veganuary. It is perfect when added to breadcrumbs to add extra texture and flavour to dishes or simply drizzled over soups to bring added taste and colour. The pesto is made from a blend of fresh Italian basil and sunflower seeds. It brings a delicious, rich and distinctive flavour to meat-free or plant-based dishes and is perfect with pasta, as a dip, or spread on pizza. It is Vegetarian Society Vegan Approved and nut free.
MICHAEL HARRIDENCE: Consultant, CMC School Food
We’re always looking at new recipes to encourage pupils to eat less meat. Ideally, schools should offer at least one vegan/vegetarian meal each day, even something as simple as pasta with tomato sauce. With schools being so culturally diverse, often this dish is the most inclusive option on the menu.
We encourage vegetarian options in school by getting them to discuss the impact on the planet and the many health benefits associated with a plant-based diet. Schools should avoid labels like meat free and vegan on the menu, and instead use phrases like plant powered. The dish should sound indulgent and exciting making it as attractive as possible.
This year, our vegan Katsu curry with brown rice was a winner in schools. For 2024 we’re adding Sticky-Toffee Plant-Powered Pudding, Butternut Squash & Coconut Dhal with Rice and Plant-Based Kofta Flatbread with Pickled Slaw and Lemon & Garlic Mayo.
GRETA STROLYTE: Brand Manager, Lucky Boat
According to Finder, an estimated 7.8% of the UK population will be following a vegan diet at the beginning of 2023 and there are plenty of consumers who don’t identify as vegan but are curious to try it. A survey of 2,000 UK adults revealed ‘a third of people (32%) choose to eat vegan out of home because they want to try something new and different’. Tap in to the huge popularity of Asian cuisines, tasty stir-fries and noodle soups that are easy to adapt to suit vegans. Our entire noodle range is suitable for vegans and vegetarians as they are free from egg.