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Veggie retail sales expected to increase to £650m

Vegetarianism and veganism seem to be an unstoppable force when it comes to our dietary choices. But the statistics suggest it’s no passing fad. By 2020, it’s expected the retail sales of plant-based and vegetarian alternatives are going to rise to an estimated £650m share of the market, a trend being explored at this September's Speciality and Fine Food Fair in Olympia, London.

The rising tide of plant-based diets - The trend for a plant-based diet has been growing, with over three per cent of British adults saying they don’t eat meat in any form, while over one per cent don’t consume any product of animal origin, such as eggs and dairy.

It's not just specific to the UK either. Seventy per cent of the global population is cutting down on its meat consumption, indicating a definite shift in our culinary tastes worldwide.

But why the growth of plant-based diets? It’s not just due to the influence of celebrities and dietary gurus like Joe Wicks who attest to the health benefits of going meat-free. It’s thought this growth is in part driven by younger consumers, with one in five under-35-year-olds having tried a vegan diet.

How the market is responding - To try and accommodate this demand, many supermarkets such as Tesco have introduced new vegan ranges, and according to BBC News, the retailer has seen its highest growth in its fruit and veg as well as dairy lines. A snapshot of the market found that sales of spinach and aubergine have risen by 43% and 23% respectively against the previous 12 months.

Many household brands such as Baileys and Ben and Jerry’s have also begun offering non-dairy products. Plus, more and more vegan-only cafes are springing up, and there's a rise in high-street chains offering a vegan menu or alternatives, including Starbucks, JD Wetherspoon, Pizza Express and Carluccio’s.

Time you capitalised on the growth of plant-based? - With the tide turning towards vegetarianism and veganism, it looks like more of the UK’s independent cafés, bistros, hotels and restaurants will need to accommodate plant-based diets in order to stay competitive. Easy switches to make include offering soy, coconut and almond milk alternatives to dairy, as well as vegan cheeses and meat substitutes like pulses, grains, tofu and filling veggies such as aubergine and mushrooms.

Another way of championing your eco-friendly credentials is to invest in a more natural décor. It could mean switching up your colour scheme, incorporating artworks with a focus on the landscape, raw ingredients and harvest time, or utilising natural materials in your furniture, such as wooden cafe tables and chairs. Whatever design you’re looking for, give us a call, we can help.

Posted by: Josh Seddon

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