The news that (former) Waitrose Food editor William Sitwell shot down ideas from a journalist for a plant based food column isn't reflective of the overall picture.
In fact, the reality is quite the opposite – including the large array of products in Waitrose stores, which may explain William’s departure as editor from its in-store magazine.
The news in September that Marston’s would be serving the Moving Mountains B12 ‘bleeding’ vegan burger across more than 400 of its food led pubs should have been a wake up call across the country. Indeed, it was - and now All Bar One has launched its own plant based burger with brand Beyond Meat.
Further cementing the growth of the lifestyle choice, the Beyond Meat vegan burger is similar to the Moving Mountains product, driving not just vegans and vegetarians to the dish, but so called ‘flexitarians’ too – or the majority of the UK population that is looking to cut its red meat intake.
The Beyond Meat burger includes an ancient grain bun, cheese alternative produced from coconut oil, vegan mayonnaise, lettuce, tobacco onions and the Beyond Burger patty. It is primarily made from a pea-protein source with 20g of plant protein in each portion.
It follows other vegan and vegetarian dishes at the bar chain, including Moroccan squash salad, avocado & black rice salad, chilli non carne tacos, and tempura seasonal mushrooms.
Pubs have increasingly been creating vegan dishes and adding them to the menu ahead of ‘Veganuary’ – a national monthly drive throughout January to push such dishes. All Bar One saw a 50 per cent uplift in the sale of vegan dishes in 2018 from 2017 – and has added eight dishes to its menu ahead of next year’s campaign.
This year saw 52,000 commit to a vegan diet for January – up from just 1,500 in 2014. Celebrities such as pop singer Ariana Grande and sportspeople like Lewis Hamilton and David Haye have embraced the lifestyle.
Other pub companies such as Mitchells & Butlers have also launched their own vegan menus across their estates. This summer, Greene King launched nine dishes across its pub estate – and foodservice firms have also begun to expand their offer significantly.
So if you are not ready for the continually growing trend, now is definitely the time.