Veganism on the Rise: How to Get Your Food Business Ready

As the industry takes steps to get ready for the new post COVID-19 reality, our in-house team of chefs have been busy developing inspiring recipes for food businesses just like yours. These plant-based menu inspirations are for everyone who is trying to reduce their meat consumption.

Ariel plate images of food with title Veganism on the rise

We think menu choices will need to be adapted for at least the shorter term due to safety and hygiene concerns as well as operational restrictions. But it’s equally important to take into account changing trends and customer preferences. The rise of veganism means that it is time for menus to change.

Once the doors fully reopen, we believe plant-based concepts will be in high demand across all menu categories and sectors. A versatile and hard-working plant-based range will be key for creating delicious hot and cold plant-based menus without compromising taste and maintaining transparency of ingredients. 

The increase in veganism and the rise of plant-based 

Image stating 1 in 5 Brits cut down meat consumptionImage stating 92% of plant-based meals are eaten by non-vegans

Plant-based diets have always been an attractive choice for those looking to reduce meat and positively contribute to the environment. Prior to COVID-19 we saw veganism on the rise with plant-based lifestyles increasing1, but with the pandemic people have become even more aware and conscious about the link between food, nutrition and overall health1.

Research indicates that consumers have been giving their health greater focus. In the lockdown new consumers have discovered the positives of plant-based food. In fact, 1 in 5 Britons cut down their meat consumption during the pandemic, with half of those trying vegan meat alternatives saying they’d continue to choose them even after lockdown2.

Image explaining 63% of 18-34s state they'll scrutinise what they eat more when out

Overall it is predicted that plant-based consumption will be on a steady rise post the pandemic. 63% of those aged 18-34 in particular will be scrutinising what they eat more carefully than before3 and as restrictions continue to relax, there will be a need for reassurance when it comes to ingredients


For some diners however, the switch to plant-based alternatives may not come easy and can be overwhelming. A common perception is that one might have to give up on great tasting appetising food and settle for something bland and boring. But thanks to GARDEN GOURMET, the switch should satisfy even the most discerning of taste buds. Our product range mimics the appearance, taste and texture of meat while using plant-based ingredients. They are rich in protein, a source of fibre, non-HFSS (High Fat, Sugar and Salt), meets UK salt targets and has all green and amber front of pack labelling. The range is either vegan or vegetarian and has been certified by the European Vegetarian Union. Created by our chefs for your chefs with help from nutritionists, food technologist and sustainability experts, we are also able to deliver customised solutions for you and your business.

Pre-COVID-19, diners were seen to be socially and environmentally conscious of the sustainability credentials of their food and that doesn’t seem to have changed. Diners are still keen to know the story of the food on their plates. Our GARDEN GOURMET range is made from soya and offers an 80% lower carbon footprint vs. a standard beef burger4.


Get ready for the rise of veganism with our inspiring recipes

In line with these expectations and predictions, we bring you recipe playbooks from GARDEN GOURMET that will inspire you to develop plant-based vegetarian and vegan menus. All our recipes have been created using our range of GARDEN GOURMET plant-based protein options. The versatility of the GARDEN GOURMET range means the opportunities to create are endless - from burgers and pies to lighter options and hot and cold filling choices, there’s something to appeal to a variety of customers.

Image of vegan filled sandwich sub roll

Recipe ideas for catering businesses

For those in the contract catering business, we have designed recipes for the immediate (including grab and go choices and dishes to eat on the move or at the desk) as well as for the future when we are back to hosting corporate events, festive team lunches and concept days like Veganuary, Vegetarian Week and Curry Week. Full of useful hints and tips from our chefs and nutritionists, you’ll also find new ideas and recommendations on how to make plant-based concepts an integral part of any menu.

Image of vegan burger

Recipe ideas for pubs and restaurants

For pubs & casual dining restaurants, Burgers will always be important with over £2.6bn spent on burgers OOH5, but there is a need for choice across all menu categories if customers are likely to return. With veganism on the rise, we wanted to inspire you with recipes that deliver on taste and quality while delivering on public health guidelines. All our complete recipes include less than 600kcal per portion, 2 of your 5 a day and mostly green and amber front-of-pack labelling to help meet specific business nutritional targets while allowing flexibility for different accompaniments if required.  

Our top recipes

The rise in veganism is an ideal opportunity to rethink your menu and add a variety of exciting new recipes. Many of the recipes below are either vegan or vegetarian but could be easily modified to suit your needs. So why not try:

  • Chilli Parsnip Mac N Cheese: Using the Garden Gourmet Mince, this dish is ideal for the colder months with a chilli kick and an indulgent feel while being completely vegan
  • BBQ Breaded Fillet and Corn Salad Nacho Bowl: Including the Garden Gourmet Breaded Fillet, this favourite is piled high with sweet and smoky flavours and a mix of textures; creating an ideal wintery salad alternative
  • The Ultimate Sensational Burger: A visual showstopper and piled high with a variety of toppings, the Garden Gourmet Sensational Burger is so incredibly juicy that your customers won’t believe it is meat free!
  • Vegan Christmas Sub: A taste of Christmas in a roll with the Garden Gourmet Vegan Meatballs, vegan blue cheese, cranberries and chestnuts 

These recipes and more can be found in our recipe books for Pubs & Restaurants, Casual Dining & Hotels and Contract Catering. These versatile ideas also work well across multiple venues, so don’t hesitate to add them to your own menu. 

There is plenty of inspiration to tap into and get your business ready for the ‘veganism on the rise’ trend. We hope that your customers will enjoy these recipes as much as we enjoyed creating them. For further recipe development and support, our team of Chefs and Nutritionists are on hand to work with your business ensuring your menus keep ahead of trends for the future.


CONTACT US  so we can create an incredible plant-based future together!


Download our recipe books now!


Title image for Pubs & Restaurants  Title image for Casual Dining & Hotels Title image for Contract Catering




  1. WGSN Coronavirus Food & Drink Change Accelerators, April 2020
  2. Attest consumer survey for The Vegan Society – Change in consumer behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic – April 2020
  3. CGA Consumer analysis, April 2020
  4. Nestlé conducted a comparative study in 2019 that highlights the environmental impacts of the Garden Gourmet Sensational Burger versus a beef burger (from dairy-cow meat). The results are based on European average consumption numbers in restaurants. Equivalencies are calculated in the basis of 1,000 Garden Gourmet Sensational Burgers sold. Absolute values and %s are based on the comparison between one Garden Gourmet Sensational Burger versus one beef burger. If you would like to access the study, please contact 
  5. Kantar Worldpanel Grocery Market Share Report 2019