The ‘champions of hearts’ from Gelsenkirchen – Schalke FC – offer the most vegan dishes in German football. That was the conclusion reached by the animal welfare organisation PETA, which is involved with providing animal-free products in stadiums. The aim of the study was to honour the stadium which offers the most plant-based dishes to its spectators.
All clubs in the Bundesliga and beyond were invited to state what food they served their loyal fans during matches. The cliché of fatty food, chips and beer was not always accurate – not when it came to Schalke, anyway! The club managers of Schalke FC could probably see a tendency towards healthy nutrition and enthusiasm for sports in their audience, and wanted to meet their needs by expanding the range of food on offer. The selection in the Gelsenkirchen Stadium includes tofu shashlik, Asian wraps and crunchy vegetable schnitzels.
René Schärling, PETA’s nutrition campaigner, describes the trend as follows: “More and more athletes and clubs are opting for a healthy, plant-based diet. This development is also reflected in the stadium menus.”
Some clubs set a good example
But there were other stadiums whose vegan selection wasn’t much worse. St. Pauli FC took second place. The Hamburgers serve three different vegan burgers from the Vincent Vegan burger chain.
Besides Schalke FC, 4 out of 25 clubs offer salads as a healthy alternative to fatty or animal foods – including Leverkusen, Mainz, Leipzig and Gladbach. Despite this healthy turnaround, more than half of the clubs offer their spectators chips, pretzels and other small snacks which aren’t suitable for a full meal.
We can look forward to future catering developments during major events; they are likely to become increasingly important in view of the growing interest in these events. It’s already clear, however, that Schalke has played a pioneering role here, as it did in the previous rankings.