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Veganism has come a long way

by | Nov 5, 2018 | Comesto News |

Veganism has come a long way since the Vegan Society was first set up as an offshoot of the Vegetarian society in November 1944

The Society came about because founders Donald Watson and Elsie Shrigley felt very strongly that there was a need to distinguish between just not eating meat and extending the philosophy to avoiding eating any products that come from animals. Nowadays veganism extends to not wearing or otherwise using any animal products – for example leather – at all.

World Vegan Day, first celebrated in 1994, has extended to World Vegan Week and now World Vegan month, underlining how acceptable this way of living has now become. Waitrose’s 2018 annual food and drink report states that one in eight people are now vegan or vegetarian, with a further 21% saying they are ‘flexitarians’ – who eat a mainly plant-based diet with meat or fish occasionally. In May this year, the supermarket became the first in the UK to install dedicated vegan sections in 134 of its stores, as well as launching a range of more than 40 vegan and vegetarian ready meals.

For decades, veganism was regarded as extreme – even potentially dangerous. Many people could understand vegetarianism (although they weren’t necessarily prepared to give up eating meat themselves), but found the vegan lifestyle choice incomprehensible. In contrast, it seems that nowadays vegans are seen more as heroes, with non-vegans admiring their ethical stance.

edgbaston hotel
edgbaston hotel
According to the latest research by the Vegan Society, conducted in 2016, there are around 540,000 vegans in Great Britain, up from 150,000 in 2006. Compared to the total UK population figures of 60.6 million in 2006 and 65.6 million in 2016, the percentage of vegans in the country is still very small – but growing. Given that the majority of vegans are in the 18-34 age group, it seems the trend is likely to continue. Apparently, twice as many women are vegan than men at present, according to the Waitrose report. It will be interesting to see if that split changes in future.

Not surprisingly, the demand for vegan dining out is growing, and the F&B and Hospitality industries are starting to respond. The Good Food Guide lists restaurants with dedicated vegan menus for the first time in its 2018 edition, and many high street chains and pubs now include vegan dishes alongside their vegetarian offerings. There is also now a demand for chefs who are skilled in upmarket vegan cuisine; another facet of the skills gap that many different industries have in common.

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly ingredients for your kitchen or snacks for the bar, Comesto can help! Sign up FREE as a buyer and use our lightning-swift search facility to identify suitable suppliers and contact them direct to order a sample, get a quote or arrange a callback. Here are some of our vegan-friendly artisan producers and their offerings:

Octopus’s Garden has a unique ingredient: Seaweed Umami Drops, which can be added to almost any dish to enhance flavour, as well as adding antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It has a lovely umami flavour with a natural sweetness. Purely Plantain crisps and Simplyseedz provide the ideal crisps and seed snacks to accompany vegan beer, wine and soft drinks; Simplyseedz also makes muesli and porridge mixes to make breakfast that bit more special.

The Dukkah Company makes a tasty North African dip, while Minicrops grows and delivers a wide range of mini vegetables and herbs, as well as edible flowers, from Deptford’s first vertical farm. Andalucian co-operative 1916 Gourmet produces a quality range of vegan-friendly and gluten free crisps, pickles, olives and olive oil in pack sizes and prices aimed at the restaurant and pub trade.

To find out more about how these and other Comesto suppliers can improve your business just click on the button below.

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