Diners Demand More Meat-Free Dishes This Christmas

Vegetarian Express Ltd

Vegetarian Express Ltd

Standard Supplier 18th August 2015

Diners Demand More Meat-Free Dishes This Christmas

Caterers are being urged to give more prominence to vegetarian dishes on Christmas menus as research reveals over half of diners feel there is a lack of choice when it comes to eating out over the festive period.

The independent research*, commissioned by Vegetarian Express – the UK's premier specialist distributor of vegetarian and vegan ingredients – reveals that 54% of people think there are not enough vegetarian options on menus at Christmas, rising to 65% among women.

When asked how many vegetarian dishes customers would like to see when dining out at Christmas, almost two thirds (62%) feel two or three meat-free options would give a better choice, while more than a quarter (27%) think this doesn't go far enough and demand four or more!

Notably, it's the 18-34 year olds – a crucial and significant group for out-of-home spending – who are driving this demand for a greater selection, with over a third (34%) thinking there should be four or more meat-free options available.

Commenting on the findings, Will Matier, Managing Director at Vegetarian Express, says: “Christmas is a vitally important period for caterers, generating more revenue than at any other time of the year. Plus, with gross profit margins typically greater on vegetarian dishes than on meat options, giving a little more thought to vegetarian menus will make for an even more profitable Christmas.

The festive period can, however, often be one of the most challenging occasions in terms of menu planning and ensuring the offering hits the right note for all customers.

“Our research proves that caterers must focus on offering a greater choice of vegetarian options to attract more diners, especially in light of the increasing demand from one the largest spending demographics.

“With Christmas being a time to indulge, caterers should really be offering their vegetarian diners the same level of choice as their meat-eating companions and making it a cracker of an occasion for all their customers!”

The good news is that with Vegetarian Express, catering for vegetarians doesn't have to be difficult or stressful. The supplier and consultant to the catering industry has teamed up with Paul Gayler MBE – consultant chef and former Executive Head Chef at London's world renowned Lanesborough Hotel on Hyde Park Corner – to create a range of Christmas recipes designed to deliver tasty, modern and interesting options for the festive period. These include Chestnut Mushroom, Walnut and Fig Jalousies; Pan Fried Celeriac, Gruyere and Potato Terrine with Dried Fruits; and Baked Winter Vegetable and Dijon Mustard Torte with Herby Ricotta.

Alternatively, for buffets, Christmas parties, or for those short on time, Vegetarian Express has a wide range of frozen canapés which require simple cooking and serving, such as Cranberry & Brie Puffs, Feta Cheese & Black Bean Parcels and Caribbean Vegetable Patties.

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