Consumers’ focus on health during the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to make vegetarian and vegan dishes more prominent on menus according to the CGA’s MealMetrics service.
Drawing on £4bn of aggregated food till sales data from more than 7,000 pubs, bars and restaurants, the metric data was designed to help businesses understand trends in meal choices and pricing, and improve category strategies, investment plans and sales propositions.
A record number of 125,000 people signing up to the ‘Veganuary’ campaign indicates that the pandemic has prompted many people to adopt meat-free diets.
The metric showed that the number of food pubs offering vegetarian and vegan burgers has jumped from 70% to more than 80% by October 2020, with an average meal price of £9.90.
CGA’s separate BrandTrack research revealed that a quarter (25%) of consumers in Britain were seeking to “reduce their meat consumption”, adding to the 6% of people who already follow meat-free diets.
The MealMetrics highlighted major opportunities for suppliers and operators to capitalise on meat-free eating when the out-of-home market returns.
Fiona Speakman, client director, CGA, said: “The rapid growth in vegetarian and vegan diets is a big opportunity for pubs, restaurants and the foodservice sector. Eating habits evolve fast and the pandemic has brought even more nuances to consumers’ behaviour, so it is vital for all businesses to stay right on top of changing choices for when the market reopens.”