New YouGov research commissioned by leading veggie and vegan brand, GoodLife, has revealed a clear indication that diners are looking for more vegetable-based dishes, more variety, and more healthy options influenced and inspired by global cuisine when eating out.
The GoodLife Eating Out Report gauges the views of over 2,000 GB adults to take a snapshot of the nation’s attitude and preferences for vegan and veggie food when dining out. The research also identified that while there is a huge range of meat alternatives on offer in the marketplace, over a third of GB adults claim not to trust meat mimicry, resulting in a genuine demand for more purely vegetable based dishes to be served in hospitality.
The plant-based eating trend remains a massive opportunity for the foodservice sector. Nearly half (45%) of GB adults are eating vegan or vegetarian meals at least once a week or more and slightly more (46%) are eating out once a month or more. This percentage increased again amongst vegan, veggie and plant-based consumers over half of whom (52%) confessed to eating out once a month or more, while amongst the 18–34-year-old demographic it rose to an impressive 56%. This finding suggests that offering more vegan and vegetarian dishes on menus would appeal to a millennial audience keen to get out after the confines of the pandemic and ready to spend.
However, the report indicates that plant-based consumers are dissatisfied with the vegan and vegetarian dishes currently on offer in the hospitality sector with 52% stating they find the veggie choice limited. More choice should be available on menus to cater for this demand and so encourage diners to eat out more.
Participants in the research were quite clear about what they wanted to see on menus: 35% of GB adults would like to see more globally inspired vegetarian or vegan dishes in restaurants, while 52% of vegans, vegetarians and plant-based consumers agreed. More healthy options were demanded by 30% of GB adults and by 45% of vegans and veggies, and 28% of GB adults wanted to see more purely vegetable based options, a figure that rose to 58% of vegans, vegetarians and plant-based consumers when asked.
This last stat is interesting given the explosion in products mimicking meat. There appears to be some distrust about these with over a third of GB adults claiming not to trust them. Conversely although 70% of vegans, veggies and plant-based consumer do trust them, 59% of them said they would choose a veg based meal over one featuring a meat alternative. Vegans, vegetarians and plant-based consumers are also slightly more health conscious where nearly a third would like to see high protein on menus, and 30% would like to see low fat options.
Becky McCaul, Marketing & Category Manager for GoodLife said: “These findings suggest that products sold by brands such as GoodLife should be seriously considered by F&B managers when reviewing their veggie offering. All our products are made from only vegetables, are low in sugar and salt and provide a quick, convenient solution to busy chefs being ready to eat in just 30 minutes direct from frozen.
The most recent additions to our range – our vegan Firecracker Rice Melt, vegan Paella Slices and vegetarian Loaded Burrito Burger – take clear culinary cues from Asian, Spanish and Mexican cuisine responding perfectly to the demand for more globally inspired dishes.”
The conclusion of the report is that a better selection of plant-based dishes can help drive diners into restaurants more often. There is a genuine demand for more choice when it comes to the plant-based offering on the menu and key to encouraging Brits to dine out more often is to serve more inspiring, pure veg based dishes with a global influence.
Additional good news is that 88% of vegans, vegetarians, and plant-based consumers expect veggie and vegan options to cost a similar price as the meat option. Clearly a well-presented globally inspired dish using a veg based core product, like GoodLife, supplemented with delicious fresh veg could offer an excellent profit margin to any food service outlet.