PETA: “Restaurants and Retailers are Scrambling to Meet the Growing Demand for Plant-Based Food”

Dawn Carr, PETA
Dawn Carr, PETA

Last week, PETA UK released a manual for “veganising” food, in order to help restaurants and retail outlets who are struggling to keep up with the overwhelming demand for plant-based products. We spoke with Dawn Carr, Director of Vegan Corporate Projects, regarding PETA’s new manual and the increasing demand on the plant-based market.

What is the manual about?
Featuring helpful tips and inspiring ideas, “The PETA Guide to Introducing Vegan Options” will help those in the food industry put their best animal-friendly foot forward. As huge numbers of Brits are seeking plant-based foods, offering tasty, innovative vegan dishes is an effective way for businesses to be more inclusive and therefore expand their customer base. There are plant-based versions of nearly every animal-derived food, so it’s time to look beyond hummus and sorbet.

Why is it currently needed / necessary in the UK?
The market for vegan food has seen explosive growth over the past six years, and this shows no signs of stopping. The Economist and Forbes have named 2019 the “year of the vegan”, and the UK is being called the “world leader for vegan food launches” because among all countries, the largest proportion of its 2018 food launches were vegan. The number of people opting to eat vegan is growing rapidly: a recent survey found that there are 3.5 million vegans in the UK, up from 540,000 in 2016. Many new vegan enterprises are popping up, and non-vegan businesses are also increasingly catering to this market. From high-end to the high street, savvy restaurants and retailers are scrambling to meet the growing demand for plant-based food.

Whom do you address with the manual?
The guide offers advice for restaurants, cafés, pubs, takeaways, and other food businesses and addresses the ins and outs of vegan eating in digestible sections with titles such as “Why Offer Vegan Options?”, “Quick Switches for Menu Favourites”, and “Hidden Ingredients”.

What does the manual offer?
It provides creative suggestions for “veganising” traditional dishes, including a satisfying “fish” and chips made with battered tofu or even banana blossoms, and for using high-quality, animal-friendly substitutes like egg-free mayonnaise, vegan cheese and yogurt, and oat, almond, or soya milk. The guide also highlights some of the best vegan options already on offer, including PizzaExpress‘ pulled-jackfruit pizza and Wagamama’s Vegatsu curry.

PETA’s “Guide to Introducing Vegan Options” is available now. For more information, visit PETA.org.uk.

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