For chefs: 5 ways to make the most of veganuary

January is a line in the sand for a fresh start for a lot of people. Many will make promises to lose weight, take up a new hobby or even take part in ‘Veganuary’.

Veganuary is the month-long challenge to embrace a plant-based diet while taking a break from meat products. And what better time to do it than at the start of a new year, after a blow-out Christmas and when resolve is at its strongest.

For chefs and the foodservice industry in general, it’s important to get your offering right in January as more consumers than ever before are set to sign up to the month of plant-based eating.

We chatted to our new Culinary Development Chef Ben Davy to give you five tips to make the most of Veganuary and leverage what has become such a huge occasion in the seasonal calendar.

Visit our dedicated Professionals page for more plant-based foodservice tips, see our Meatless range and speak to a member of our team >

Ben Davy of Meatless Farm
Meatless Farm Culinary Development Chef Ben Davy

‘Go Meatless’ – research from Meatless Farm shows that over a third of British consumers would like the option to ‘go meatless’ rather than having a separate vegan or plant-based menu[1]. Expanding your Veganuary offering doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel – you can create plant-based versions of your best sellers, or if you want to be really bold, have a plant-based option for every menu item.

Use this as a tester – the demand for plant-based food is only going to grow, over a third of carnivorous British consumers are eating more plant-based food since the pandemic[2]. Try using Veganuary as a trial for what works best for the customer – monitoring consumer feedback and sales to see how receptive customers are to your offerings. Veganuary is a great opportunity to attract new customers but also trial different plant-based offerings.

Spread the word – off the back of increased demand there is a captive audience for ordering plant-based food – ensuring your existing and potential customers know about your Veganuary menu in advance is essential. Start telling people about this over the festive season and use social media to engage and promote; research shows that one in five British consumers check restaurants’ social feeds and websites before deciding to visit[3].

Communicate health and sustainability – if you are choosing plant-based brands or products with good environmental credentials then communicate this and leverage the heightened interest around health and sustainability to drive sales. Research shows that health and being environmentally friendly are the 2 most important factors for consumers when ordering a plant-based burger[4].

Be prepared for delivery – with the shifting landscape, you need to be prepared with plant-based products that will travel well when using delivery and your suppliers should be able to help advise. Moreover, suppliers like Meatless Farm can work with operators on dishes to ensure maximum suitability and sales potential.

[1] OnePoll Survey 2,000 UK adults May 20

[2] OnePoll Survey of 2,000 UK adults May 20

[3] Barclaycard, Dec 2018

[4] OnePoll Survey of 2,000 UK adults May 20