While chicken wings and pizzas are still king when it comes to favourite takeaway food, vegan meals are now the fastest growing choice in the UK. The number of orders has risen fivefold over between 2016 and 2018, according to the British Takeaway Campaign.
Black beans burgers, sweet potato and quinoa are among the dishes that are gradually and quickly becoming a priority for people who like takeaway food.
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Estimates show that around 600,000 vegans live in the UK and that number is growing at a fast rate. Obviously, while 388 % might sound like a big number, it must be said that the percentage growth of vegan meals is impressive chiefly because this is a relatively recent trend. Having said that, 388 % is a lot whichever way you look at it. Pakistani, Greek, Turkish and Persian meals are growing more rapidly than Chinese and Indian, a traditional favourite, while English takeaways recorded the slowest growth - less than 1 %.
Household spending on takeaways has been steadily growing as well, it is now nearly 15 % - it was only 11% in 2015.
Several kebab shops owners report that vegan kebabs are now regularly outselling their chicken or falafel options. Paul Baron, owner of I Am Doner in Leeds and Harrogate, said that many of his customers aren’t actually vegan, but they still prefer the vegan option.
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Even Deliveroo, the popular online delivery platform, reported that orders of vegan meals have quadrupled over the last two years. Furthermore, Deliveroo reported that, considering last month alone, its best-selling vegan dishes were Wagamama’s vegatsu version of katsu curry, Pizza Express’ vegan margarita and the smoky chorizo and cheese burger from Arancini Brothers. In June 2019, Deliveroo recorded its highest number of vegan orders ever and this is probably going to be topped several times over in the upcoming years.
In response to this blatant trend, mainstream caterers are modifying their menus accordingly. In January, British low-cost airline Jet2 introduced a vegan version of its “pasta arrabbiata” as part of its in-flight service and in April Ryanair followed suit by adding vegan “lasagne”. Thomas Cook has done something similar, and so has Greggs, the largest bakery chain in the United Kingdom.