Why is vegan catering a must have for your event?

Thought leadership
table setting with orange and red flower centrepieces
It’s no secret that veganism has risen at an explosive rate as more and more people are cutting out animal products from their diet. But how does this have an impact on events? Read our perspective on vegan catering and how this can reduce the carbon footprint of an event. 

Why is veganism more popular?

Veganism is taking the catering industry by storm; we are seeing significantly more vegan options in event venues than we have in previous years. There is of course a greater focus on sustainability across the board, with 53% of vegans making the change for environmental concerns and businesses being keen to adapt to this behaviour change. Veganism is becoming more acceptable with advocacy from celebrities, such as Lewis Hamilton, Serena Williams, Joaquin Phoenix and Natalie Portman, who have been instrumental in shining a light on the benefits of veganism. While it can be a challenge to become a full time vegan, many people have adopted a flexitarian diet and opt for vegan options when eating out. Our own MD Anna Green, made the switch to a vegan diet over the summer. Over the last year I’ve made a conscious decision to eat less meat, fish and dairy, particularly when I’m out and about. I’m thrilled that there has been an increasing selection of imaginative vegan options at events I’ve attended and this has definitely contributed to my switch to a full time vegan diet.” 

Catering to the climate 

Meat and dairy consumption takes up 83% of the world’s farmland including 80% of deforested land in the Amazon rainforest and livestock production is also responsible for 70% of global freshwater consumption. Vegan diets result in 76% less land use and 50% less greenhouse gases. Changing the way we eat can have enormous impact on combating climate change. Plant-based catering can reduce the carbon footprint of a large event by as much as 10 tonnes.

Rapid growth

The vegan lifestyle hasn’t been mainstream for that long. In the 1980s for example, there was almost nothing available by way of substitutes. However in the past decade, meat consumption in the UK has declined by 17%. The Economist declared 2019 the year of the vegan” and in January 2021, 582,538 people from 209 countries signed up for Veganuary. The lifestyle rethink enabled by lockdown, has significantly increased the number of people turning their backs on animal products. As these numbers rise, so do the market and commercial opportunities for quality, responsibly sourced products.

Where to seek inspiration

In 2020, The Golden Globes served guests an all-vegan menu at their awards ceremony to raise awareness about climate change. This solution also solved any issues with cross contamination and offered a unique talking point for the event. This may seem too niche for some but catering companies such as The Clean Kitchen Club offer 100% plant-based menus for all types of events. They say it’s designed not just for vegans’ and have created vegan twists on meat dishes. Whatever the shape and size of the event; vegan options cover everything from canapés to sit down meals. Vegan catering is now more accessible than ever, you only need to wander down the plant-based aisle in a supermarket to see how many ingredients can be swapped out for a vegan alternative. In the past, we would expect to see one plant-based option on an event menu, but that’s no longer the case. You never know, even the biggest meat eaters might be tempted to try something different.