Restaurants are being encouraged to offer more creative vegetarian and vegan options to cater to a growing number of flexitarian diners.
Almost half (44%) of people are either willing to cut down the amount of meat in their diet or have already done so, according to a YouGov study.
The study revealed a generational divide, with nearly half (48%) of young people aged 18-24 saying they are aware of the environmental impact of eating meat, compared to just 20% of those aged over 65.
The Vegan Society says the number of vegans in the UK has more than tripled to over half a million in the last ten years.
Eating Better said the restaurants that avoided labelling dishes as vegetarian or vegan and instead described items as ‘light’ or ‘fresh’ were more likely to see a rise in meat-free sales.
High street brands including JD Wetherspoon and EAT have extended their plant-based options in the last few years to cater to the growing number of flexitarians. Zizzi has launched a vegan pizza with ‘cheese’ made from germinated rice, while Pret a Manger opened its second vegetarian-only store in London this year.
The trend is also beginning to reach high-end restaurants. Gauthier Soho became the first fine-dining site in London to permanently offer a fully vegan tasting menu for £65 a head last year.
Even Roast at Borough Market, a well-known ‘meaty’ restaurant launched a new vegetarian menu during #NationalVegetarianWeek. Their ‘Ultimate Veggie Burger’ served with walnut mayo was the ultimate winner for me. (see pic)