The last few years has seen a significant increase in the number of people wanting to cut meat or animal products out of their lives. With an increase of non-meat products available and a growing number of people wanting to make the switch, more and more pubs are jumping ship and throwing their lot in with vegans and vegetarians.
A contributing factor to the great meat debate is the amount, variety, and quality of non-meat products available. Restaurant owners can now buy non-meat burger patties that taste very similar to regular meat patties and non-meat chicken that may as well be chicken. People are branching out and are willing to try non-meat products, even avid meat eaters. On top of the people that prefer the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, avoiding animal products means that there is also less risk for people who have involuntary dietary requirements.
One major blow for the pub industry may come as a surprise, as the list of alcoholic drinks that are off-limits to vegans is longer than expected. There are many ingredients used in various alcohols that come from animals such as gelatin, from the bones and connective tissues of cows or pigs, and lactose, a protein derived from milk. Albumen, which is derived from egg whites, and pepsin, a foaming agent taken from the stomach of a pig, are all commonly found in alcoholic drinks. However, there are plenty of options for vegans—lots of wine, beer, cider and spirit makers produce vegan products. But unless there is a demand for it, a pub won’t supply it. If there is collaboration, and genuine demand for vegan liquors, the market will become increasingly vibrant and more options will become available.
Consumers want more choice and customisation, and it is expected nowadays that restaurants will provide. Suppliers of vegan products are finding increased demand, and restaurants that offer a variety of vegan and vegetarian options are getting busier.