Flexitarianism – what is it?

Allegra Foodservice’s report on Menu and Food Trends highlighted the

trend of Flexitarianism,which raises the question, ‘What does that mean?’

Allegra has highlighted growth in plant-based foods for some time, as consumers move through the protein spectrum,from red to white meat and into plant

based. Reasons vary from health and sustainability, to flavour and taste, or

simply for a social aspect as we have seen with ‘Veganuary’. Another factor has been the rise of Soya drinks as a dairy replacement, especially in hot beverages.

Consumers are more open-minded to eating different cuisines; as a result Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Persian or Lebanese foods have become more popular. A key staple of these diets is chickpea based Falafel, and consumers are appreciating this healthy and delicious dish.

So, Flexitarianism is a summation of these trends; consumers seek interesting foods that are healthier and more sustainable, that deliver a good eating experience and provide great value.

Those foods don’t need to be meat based; consumers are happy to not eat
meat, not because they are vegetarian, but because they like the alternatives.

The message to operators is not to put a separate or boxed off vegetarian section on a menu, which makes those consumers who don’t eat meat feel like outcasts! Embrace non-meat dishes and include them as a key part of the menu, so that Flexitarians can enjoy the whole menu, and value the overall experience more.