Vegan food is becoming increasingly popular and offers important business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Restaurants are also keeping up with the trend, and by now more than 90 cafes and restaurants across Estonia have joined the Loomus’ vegan program Taimsed Valikud. The restaurants that have joined the program offer a variety of vegan food on a daily basis, i.e. the customer who prefers vegan food gets as good experience as everyone else.
If your restaurant doesn’t have a diverse selection of vegan food yet, here are five reasons to add vegan dishes to your menu.
1. Vegan food is in line with consumer trends
For many consumers healthy eating, sustainable lifestyle and ensuring animal welfare are increasingly important issues. Vegan food is in line with these trends and is of interest to a wider target group than just vegetarians. 19.7% of Estonian residents who go out to eat, always or often order vegetarian food at the restaurant, according to a survey commissioned by MTÜ Loomus and the Estonian Vegan Society.
2. Vegan food is accompanied by growing interest and demand
Over the last few years, interest in vegan products has grown significantly both in Estonia and in the rest of the world. Many vegetarian cookbooks in Estonian have been published, several new vegetarian restaurants have been opened and a lot of new vegan products have come on sale in shops. Representatives of Estonia’s large retail chains have confirmed that although vegan products are niche products, the demand for them has grown very strongly in recent years. Sales of plant based milks are also rising in Estonia.
3. Vegan food is exciting and delicious
Well-prepared vegan food can taste good for everyone. Today, a variety of special vegan products are available in stores that can replace almost any animal ingredient without compromising on taste. For example, there are already many exciting plant-based meat alternatives in Estonian restaurants and grocery stores. Vegan food can be liked by everyone and be popular with omnivorous people.
4. Offering vegan food can be a significant competitive advantage
Restaurants that do not take into account changes in customer preferences may miss out on a significant business opportunity. Adding plant-based choices to the menu does not deter customers, however their absence can be a significant limitation for many. If there is a desire to enrich the menu with plant-based food, it is worth considering adding vegan food, since it is suitable for all vegetarians and also for many people with allergies. From the customer’s point of view it is also important to have clear labelling of the existing vegan food and the customer service representative’s awareness.
5. Creating vegan food choices can be very easy
Veganizing existing dishes has never been easier. There are plant-based alternatives to many animal ingredients, including meat products, milk, cream, cheese. Replacing an egg in a dish is also very simple. Taimsed Valikud has also has many recipes on its webpage to help you get inspiration. If you need help or advice in compiling a vegan menu or veganizing dishes, feel free to contact the Taimsed Valikud program (firstname.lastname@example.org). The team of the Taimsed Valikud program includes long-term vegans, vegan chefs and vegan specialists. Together we will definitely find a great solution!