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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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Plant-based eating

Are more mindful consumers driving the surge in plant-based eating?
There has been a huge rise in plant-based products hitting the UK market in recent months – but rather than this being a signal of more people committing to going vegan, we are seeing a trend in customers abstaining from meat for a few more meals a week. But why are people demanding more meat free options?

There are multiple reasons for people choosing to cut meat and animal products from their diet, animal welfare being the most common for those who go vegan full time. However, it’s the environmental impact that is driving committed carnivores to cut down on the amount of meat they eat. Due in part to information being shared more readily via mainstream and social media, the impact of the meat industry on the environment has become common knowledge. We now know that the global livestock industry generates as much greenhouse gases as all transport combined [1], and as a result we are more mindful of how our consumerism plays a part in this, making the decision to eat less meat (if not cutting it out altogether).

Once upon a time, caterers could get away with offering one meagre vegetarian option on menus - often consisting of an uninspiring pasta dish, tart or salad. As vegetarianism became more mainstream, chefs had to become more creative and provide as much choice for vegetarians as meat eaters. A similar revolution is happening now, with the total value of the plant-based category in retail growing by £129 million in just three years and expected to grow by a further 43% over the next four years [2];  it is clear that plant-based eating is no fad, and we need to respond to the permanent demand for more vegan options. 

We at ISS Food Services decided to make a bold statement in our Business & Industry sector by launching an entirely vegan range for summer 2019. This range has been developed to not only cater for those who are already choosing plant-based options but to encourage the reluctant diners to give it a try. There is still a lingering view of vegan food as something only available to the clean-eating elite, and not available to the average person who wants to cut down their meat intake but isn’t sure where to start. With the proportion of vegan products hitting the new food market rising from 16% in 2018 to 23% to date [3], plant-based products are becoming both more affordable and more widely available. There are customers who will be more likely to try vegan food if it comes in the form of a familiar dish, and we want to make sure they feel that eating plant-based meals is an option for them too. 

Our development chefs have created a range of twenty vegan food themes, based around plant protein. Alongside the more adventurous options such as pho, poke and bao, we have a range of ‘classic’ dishes to entice even the staunchest traditionalist. By offering plant-based versions of favourites such as spaghetti bolognese, tikka masala and even fish & chips that are satisfying and full of flavour, we have a better chance of converting people to plant-based eating, rather than just preaching to the converted. 

By putting more thought and effort into developing and diversifying the plant-based food we offer, we can help our customers who want to make a more ethical and environmentally friendly choice. Veganism is here to stay, so we need to jump on board or get left behind.

[1] http://www.fao.org/3/i3437e/i3437e00.htm 

[2] http://costsectorcatering.co.uk/sites/default/files/attachment/pages_plant-based_profits_alpro_and_bb_foodservice_insight.final_pages.pdf 

[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48661153 

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