Chefs urged to offer more vegetarian options

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Vegetarianism, Vegetarian society

National Vegetarian Week runs from 21-27 May 2012
National Vegetarian Week runs from 21-27 May 2012
Chefs and caterers are being urged to take a second look at their menus, or risk missing out on a potential £700m market of diners hungry for more enticing meat-free options.

The latest research from the Office of National Statistics suggests that three in five UK adults now eat meat-free food, with approximately 1.8 million people actively identifying themselves as vegetarians. The Vegetarian Society therefore believes there is the potential for a £700 million marketplace as health and variety of choice become key factors in the out-of-home dining experience.

“We are in an era where a growing number of consumers – not just vegetarians – are making a lifestyle choice and looking to reduce their meat intake,” said John McKears, foodservice sales manager at Jus-Rol Professional. “Gone are the days where caterers could simply provide a standard ‘default ‘vegetarian option."

Jus-Rol Professional is calling on caterers to dispel the myth that meat-free food is bland and boring by turning their hands to creating a raft of delicious meat-free dishes using its pastry.

“This research proves that there is a captive audience out there actively searching out more exciting meat-free dishes," adds McKears. "This is an important change in UK dining habits and the modern menu needs to reflect this.

“With National Vegetarian Week fast approaching, there has never been a better time to enliven your menus.”

Vegetarian recipes

Caterers can visit​ to download vegetarian recipes including Spicy Pizza Puffs; Mini Cheese & Onion Pasties; Goats Cheese & Aubergine Windmills; and Red Pepper & Onion Tarte Tatin.

Last year, Quorn Foods launched a similar website​ for chefs and caterers looking to add value to their vegetarian menus.

Last week, BigHospitality announced that Cordon Vert, the Vegetarian Society’s cooking school, is calling for entries to its Vegetarian Chef of the Future competition.

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Trends & Reports

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I just like vegetables

Posted by Helen Varley,

During the 1980s I edited a restaurant guide in which I listed, criticised and encouraged vegetarian restaurants and highlighted good vegetarian options, and I've been heartened to see interest in vegetarian food grow. My overall impression today is that there's far too little emphasis on vegetables in the vegetarian options served in restaurants, and far too much on pasta and tomatoes. Some vegetarians don't like tomatoes! I eat mainly vegetarian food not because I'm trying to reduce my meat intake, but just because I love vegetables. I don't want vegetarian sausages or steaks, or vegetarian chunks that pretend to be meat, I want imaginative, flavourful dishes composed of vegetables and their garnishes and sauces. When I find them, I'm delighted.

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Why Vegan

Posted by JC,

There is a tidal wave consciousness sweeping across the land. Why would someone choose to be vegan? Here are two uplifting videos to help everyone understand why so many people are making this life affirming choice to become vegan: and

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