Up-skilling the foodservice sector for the plant-based revolution

According to Kantar, the total plant-based market in the UK was worth £1.8 billion as of 11 Aug 2019, with an annual growth rate of 8%. According to Mintel, 16% of all new food products in the UK in 2018 carried a vegan claim and vegan claims on menus in restaurants have increased by 55% (MCA)**. In fact Britains have reduced their meat consumption by 17% over the last decade which is significant but will need to double if we are to meet the targets for healthy diet and sustainable food production set out in the 2021 national food strategy.

The adoption or inclusion of plant-based choices into a person’s diet has seen continued growth over a number of years. This is fuelled by a variety of factors, from environmental sustainability and climate change to personal wellbeing and health concerns. It is also evident that shifting societal norms, coupled with social media influences, are helping a growing proportion of the UK population to actively reduce their consumption of animal-based products.

For retailers and food service outlets, carrying more plant-based products may offer both a route to more innovation and a more attractive margin (with relatively much lower raw ingredient costs).  In addition, for those concerned about perceptions of corporate responsibility it may give them an opportunity to offer food with lower carbon footprints.

Given all the above it should be easy for the organisations to seize this opportunity but there is still a need to help the sector up-skill and develop plant-based menus and solutions. Here at the Litmus Partnership, we’ve been partnering with Andrew Dargue, Chef Proprietor of Vanilla Black Cook and Learn School for a few years now, to bring his passion and expertise to this important area of our consultancy services – championing the growth in plant-based menu content.

We’ve teamed up with Andrew to bring the foodservice sector a consultancy service on how best to revamp vegetarian and vegan options on their menus. Many in the sector cater for large numbers of people every day, often with varying dietary requirements, and so creating menus that not only deliver for the differing needs, but are also exciting and different, isn’t always an easy task.

Andrew – a chef with over 30-years’ experience and an industry-wide reputation as vegetarian and vegan specialist – is planning to run a series of educational events for Litmus clients through his Vanilla Black Cook and Learn School. Andrew Dargue says: “Now is the time for the foodservice industry to ensure their menus offer exciting and tantalising meat-free options.”

If you’d like advice on up-skilling or improving your plant-based catering offering email us on webenquiry@litmuspartnership.co.uk or call 01276 673880.

** Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Monday, 14 October 2019