Careers Advice

Veganism, the environment and changing attitudes in the pub industry.

Trends that are set to continue.

In the last few years, veganism has gone from being the butt of jokes and something a bit niche and worthy, to becoming a serious and sustainable food trend.

Whereas catering for vegetarians, let alone vegans, challenged most pubs and restaurants over the last few decades (cauliflower cheese or Mediterranean veg tart anyone?), in recent years the hospitality sector has been keen to jump aboard the tofu train.

This follows a wider trend towards healthier food and drinks, catering for food allergies such as coeliacs, and a much more determined focus on environmental sustainability and waste reduction on the part of consumers and businesses alike. The Blue Planet effect if you like. And it’s often the case that veganism and vegetarianism go hand in hand with a concern for the environment, and a desire to live a less wasteful lifestyle.

The latest report from market researchers Mintel revealed that alongside the expected meat and fish-fest of barbecued food, vegan barbecue food, low alcohol beer and ‘healthy’ ice-cream. More than one-quarter (28%) of UK adults chose similar products during the six months to March 2017.

The hospitality sector has come under fire for its lack of environmental awareness and reliance on single-use plastics. Which is why it’s great to hear that a survey of the hospitality sector by water filter manufactures Brita UK found that 81% of businesses surveyed were planning to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics. This is excellent news for the environment, and also for the hospitality sector. Success stories include big chains banning plastic straws, although there is still a long way to go according to the environmental organisation Resource. The next very big challenge for the sector will be to reduce food waste.