Plant-based catering: Revisiting the Rise of Vegetarian Food at UK Events

Food trends move fast and catering for them is key. It’s always good to be aware of what the latest big thing is. Back in 2017, we wrote about the rise of vegetarian food in the events industry. Now, two years later, the world is seeing a boom in the plant-based food industry unlike anything seen before.

THE MEATLESS MARKET

In the past two years, a meatless war has been brewing. In the blue corner is Beyond Meat, a certified vegan brand serving up meat-like adaptions of burgers, sausages and more. The red corner houses Impossible Foods, whose Impossible Patty is establishing quite a devoted following.

These two companies are major players in the plant-based race. Going above and beyond to do the seemingly impossible: make meatless meat actually taste like meat. The result? Vegetarian-friendly options are so popular that Impossible Foods is experiencing a product shortage. This is something Beyond Meat also struggled with in 2017 and 2018.

Competition is beginning to heat-up. Huge players like Kellogg’s (owner of the largest USA ‘fake meat’ operation) and Nestle are taking notice of this new revenue source.

Not only has competition increased amongst meatless suppliers, but more restaurants than ever before are now offering plant-based alternatives. Both Mcdonalds and KFC are trialling their own meat substitute meals, both seeing impressive response.

Despite this, both Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat are continuing a roaring trade within restaurants. The former recently partnered with Burger King for the production of the Impossible Whopper in the USA, which customers anticipate with bated breath. Beyond Meat has boasted a hugely successful launch into supermarkets in the USA and UK. They have also had collaborations with chains Honest Burger, All Bar One and Byron.

THE HUNT FOR A BEYOND MEAT BURGER

This month, we decided to investigate the hype ourselves and dig in to some meat-free munchies from our local Honest Burger in Covent Garden.

Served with vegan smoked gouda, Rubies in the Rubble chipotle ‘mayo’, mustard, red onion, pickles and lettuce, the ‘Plant’ Burger has classic appeal. Pair that with serving of their homemade rosemary fries and you can be pretty confident you’re onto a winner.

To sweeten the deal, we also chose to give the Fritter Burger a try, because, frankly, when in Rome! This vegetarian stack involves a gargantuan Southern-fried fritter, cheddar, chipotle mayo, slaw, red onion, and pickles.

Both burgers were delicious options for anyone looking to reduce their meat consumption. We were especially impressed with how close the Beyond Meat burger came to the real thing.

EVENT CATERING FOR MEATLESS MENUS

33.5% of the British public now saying they are fully vegetarian or attempting a reduced-meat diet. This surge in popularity means catering new meatless menus has become vital.

At Alchemy, culinary excellence and innovation is in our blood. We’re always looking for new ways to develop and improve our menus to deliver outstanding food for every event.

Plans for our 2020 menus are already underway. Specifically, we are exploring both meatless and sustainable menus to offer to our clients. For advice on meat-free options and how we can help cater to special diets, speak to a member of the team.