Veganism: here to stay!
Η χορτοφαγία αποτελεί μία διατροφική στάση ζωής που έχει ολοένα και περισσότερους υποστηρικτές Veganism and vegetarianism are dietary lifestyles that have more and more supporters worldwide — and so it is in Greece, as well. The statistics are amazing: 15% of millennials in the U.S. say they are vegetarian. In Great Britain, there was a 185% increase in vegan product launches between 2012 and 2016. This increase is due to many reasons, the main ones being: our growing concern about the effects on our health due to meat consumption, the impact of livestock units on climate change, as well as public awareness of animal rights issues. In this context, we see more and more companies in Greece following this trend. It’s no coincidence that alternatives —such as soy drinks, almonds, etc. launched by large Greek companies— constantly appear next to traditional dairy products in the supermarkets.
Food and catering industries can adapt to this trend and also identify development opportunities, as new gastronomic concepts that approach a new dynamic audience can emerge. Of course, as veganism is not just a diet but also a philosophy and way of living, food establishments that serve this trend should holistically support this ideology, in all their actions. Traditional restaurants will also benefit by adding vegan options to their menu. In England, even big chains offer meatless alternatives to various foods; vegan burgers, for example.
Food and dining establishments should change their menus to be more vegetarian/vegan-friendly, using symbols to clearly denote these options. They also need to train their staff so that they are aware of the ingredients in each recipe and can guide customers accordingly. They also need to understand that a vegetarian/vegan dish is not a “tasteless salad”, but it can be flavorful and delicious. As a fact, there are vegan burgers out there that would make even sworn meat eaters lick their fingers! Moreover, traditional Greek cuisine offers many vegan options, since vegetables and legumes are key components of the Mediterranean diet.
What is certain is that vegan diet is not a simple trend or a fashion that will pass. An ever-increasing portion of the world’s people follows this lifestyle and the food industry in Greece must provide this audience with plenty of options.