Consumers' focus on health during the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to make vegetarian and vegan dishes more prominent on menus than ever when the hospitality industry is able to reopen, CGA's MealMetrics service has found.
A record number of 125,000 people signing up to the Veganuary campaign indicated that the pandemic has prompted many people to adopt meat-free diets. CGA's MealMetrics showed that the number of food-led pubs offering vegetarian and vegan burgers jumped from 70% ahead of the UK's first national lockdown to more than 80% by October 2020 – and with an average meal price of £9.90, these items have frequently provided good margins.
CGA's separate BrandTrack research, meanwhile, found that a quarter (25%) of consumers in Britain were seeking to reduce their meat consumption, adding to the 6% of people already following meat-free diets.
CGA's client director Fiona Speakman said: "The rapid growth in vegetarian and vegan diets is a big opportunity for pubs, restaurants and the foodservice sector. Eating habits evolve fast and the pandemic has brought even more nuances to consumers' behaviour, so it is vital for all businesses to stay right on top of changing choices for when the market reopens."