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Veganism not a short-term trend for dining out, study finds

A study from GlobalData has suggested that consumer appetite for plant-based dishes on menus will remain beyond ‘Veganuary’, and that restaurants should adjust accordingly.

According to data from the ‘Veganuary’ website, 629,000 partook in 2022. Of that number, 83% said that they would reduce their consumption of meat, eggs and dairy as a result of their month of abstinence.

While there are still those who will return to consuming animal products both at home and when dining out come 1 February, research from data analysis firm GlobalData points to a growing demand for menus with plant-based options.

Of the 21,000 individuals across the world surveyed in Q1 of 2022, a third said that sustainability was a factor in them trying plant-based menus, a third mentioned animal welfare, and two-thirds cited health reasons. As a point of contrast, slightly less than a third (31%) said that they would be inclined to try alternatives to meat and fish because of the taste.

GlobalData consumer analyst Ramsey Baghdadi said: “For a plant-based menu to succeed, it cannot rely on its ‘plant-based’ status alone. It must also perfect associated aspects such as high quality, ethical production, and sustainable packaging to closely align with the preferences of non-meat eaters/flexitarians throughout the globe…This ‘Veganuary’ we have seen a wide range of new plant-based options being introduced across the foodservice sector, especially in the UK and US, including the new vegan American Hot pizza from Domino’s, Burger King’s Vegan Royale with Cheeze burger and the Double McPlant burger from McDonald’s which has been vegan-certified. Replicating the same flavour and sense of indulgence is essential for these big named brands, as many consumers are already accustomed to their meat counterparts – making a strong point of comparison.”

“Veganuary is now synonymous with experimental behaviours, as thousands sign up each year to test a flexi or vegan lifestyle for themselves. Naturally, not all participants will fully commit, with February onwards painting a truer success rate for both the participants and brands’ new menus,” Baghdadi added.

Beyond restaurants, this consumer sentiment might also have significant ramifications for the drinks industry. To read about the best wines from the drinks business‘ Organic and Vegan Masters competition, click here.

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