Interest in plant-based eating is at an all-time high and this gives us a huge opportunity to meet customers demand with a wider choice of both healthy and environmentally-friendly dishes.
Plant-based eating is not a fad, it’s a mainstream lifestyle choice and if we don’t embrace it our customers will simply eat and drink elsewhere. Plant-based has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a dairy alternative and now the total value of the UK plant-based market tops £443 million with 28% of Brits claiming to be flexitarian – 25% of all NPD last year was plant based.
It’s a growing market that will keep on growing, from the start or the day in your coffee to a great dessert as a mid afternoon treat we need to have an offer available. Not as a ‘just in case’ but something that has a great taste, something that is equally as good as its non plant-based option. Could this be the only option? Yes, it could, it just needs to taste great.
As menus develop and as hotels, pubs, cafes and restaurants fully embrace the ‘plant-based future’ we will see the content in menus swing to ‘not-plant base’ and ‘non-plant based’ sections of a menu to food that just tastes great.
An easy win to start the menu would be desserts, already on the market, we have a great range of plant-based ice cream that are as good and in some ways better than the original recipes they derived from. Or what about a chocolate tart made with a traditional ganache but using plant-based milks instead of cream and milk, and of course vegan dark chocolate! I have used this idea and it still creates a fantastic dessert, or a play on a lemon meringue pie but with aqua faba for the meringue, it’s a real show stopper.
25% of Brits will be veggie of vegan by 2025 according to a UK supermarket giant, let’s not risk ¼ of our sales by not keeping up with the changing world. The world is changing, I think it has to change it means we just need to think differently.
Kindly contributed by Steve Midgley Consulting Development Chef, 30 years experience in fine dinning, creating fantastic experiences at Michelin star restaurants.