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Veganism is driving the future of the restaurant industry, survey reveals

  • New survey by Planday finds nearly half of millennials predict vegan restaurants will be most in demand over next two years.
  • Three quarters of millennials see vegan, vegetarian, or environmentally friendly restaurants as desirable.
  • Respondents less likely to value traditional unhealthy fast food.

A survey released by Planday this week has found that, for millennials, the future is vegan.

Consumer tastes are changing as millennials predict a plant-based, environmentally friendly approach will be more desirable than traditional unhealthy fast food.

While vegans might have been the subject of ridicule in the past, there is little doubt that veganism is now mainstream.

This poll provides further proof that the restaurant sector might have to adapt.

According to the figures, nearly half of all millennials (49%) predict vegan restaurants will be the most in demand in the next two years. 

Additionally as many as 75% thought that vegan, vegetarian, or those with good environmental credentials will be most sought after. 

By contrast, just 25% of millennials considered fast food restaurants will be the most in demand over the coming two years.

Dominika Piasecka, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, said: “The image of veganism is undergoing the most radical change in its history, while shedding some tired, old stereotypes. People now closely associate it with health, fitness and wellbeing.

“It is no longer portrayed as an unusual lifestyle, it’s easy and accessible – you can walk into any supermarket and be greeted by a huge range of vegan-friendly products or walk into any restaurant and be presented with an exciting vegan menu. There has never been a better time to be vegan.

“Our research found the number of vegans in Great Britain has quadrupled to 600,000 in the four years to 2018. It’s incredible that the word ‘vegan’ didn’t even exist until 1944 when The Vegan Society’s co-founder coined it, but can now be seen on menus and products around the world.”

Many high street chains have already taken measures to ride the wave of veganism.

Earlier this year Pret a Manger opened up a ‘Veggie Pret’ in Manchester after other branches proved hugely successful elsewhere, while last year McDonald’s unveiled their ‘McVegan’ burger in Finland. 

However the shift towards healthier, more sustainable dining is not restricted to what is offered on the menu. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the impact packaging and food waste might have on the environment.

Vegan restaurant entrepreneur Loui Blake said: “We also know how important sustainability is to our customers and how crucial it is that we clearly communicate all the steps we take, from using Vegware plastics to carbon offsetting schemes, to reassure our customers that both we, and they, are dining without costing the earth.”