Veganism in the Events Industry
Although vegetarianism and veganism has been around for some time, the terms are still relatively new to the events industry. Before, it was uncommon to have a ‘V’ or ‘VE’ requirement, let alone multiple. Now they are not only dietary requirements but also becoming ‘trends’ with the increased production of plant-based meat and substitutes. Slowly turning what was once health or moral dietary requirements into a phenomenon. A phenomenon that the event industry should be keen to keep up to date with. In a 2018 report, researchers found that 120,000 people pledged to give up meat, fish, dairy, eggs and honey for 31 days (Veganuary). 47% of the sample said that they made the pledge for the animals, with others saying they are pledging for health or the environment, 8% said it was for ‘other reasons’.
Food trends – Should event managers care? https://uniofglos.blog/eventsglos/2018/02/28/food-trends-should-event-managers-care/
The 2018 rise of veganism means that event organisers now have more details to consider when planning for an event. It is helpful to always plan for a vegan menu, even before taking attendees dietary requirements as veganism has also introduced a sub-category of vegetarianism and veganism called ‘flexitarian’, where individuals are mostly plant-based but will eat the occasional meat dish.
· Mimic the favourite dishes – Although new and trendy vegan dishes are always an option, sometimes simple is best. Mimic the usual dishes by only replacing parts of the recipe. For example; using more vegetable stock in soup, rather than cream, to make it thicker.
· Avoid ‘Dish Envy’ – Get creative with the menu and always consider the attendees as a whole. Treat the plant-based option the same way as non-dietary requirements. There is nothing worse than feeling jealous over the look of other portions. Top tip: use you creativity or ask the caterer for pointers. Never give up at the first hurdle and only offer salad or steam vegetables as a vegan option, when the main menu is so innovative.
· Veganism is for everyone – When designing a vegan menu it is essential that guests leave feeling satisfied and feel as if they have the most out of their meal; it is substantial and flavourful. Aim to appeal to the masses, instead of only dietary requirements. The aim is to have other delegates opt for this menu as an alternative to the protein-based menu.
You can read the full article here: https://mitmagazine.co.uk/experts/how-to-create-a-successful-vegan-event-according-to-the-experts/
Other than demanding dietary requirements, plant-based diets are also an important part of seeing environmental change. The Committee of Climate Change argue that the UK must cut the amount of beef, lamb and dairy it consumes by a fifth to meet the government’s 2050 NetZero target. The need for the events industry to play its part is undeniable. For example, the 2020 Oscars offered an entirely plant-based menu.
The increase in demand for plant-based diets is unquestionable and the events industry is slowly catching up, helping the UK to focus on a common goal; Plant-based substitutes to improve the environment. For more information on how veganism can reduce our environmental impact, read this article by Olivia Petter (The Independent): https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/veganism-environmental-impact-planet-reduced-plant-based-diet-humans-study-a8378631.html#:~:text=Eating%20a%20vegan%20diet%20could,up%20to%2073%20per%20cent.