Veganism is on rise across the world. So much so, that major food chains are launching vegan options to cater to vegan customers. Recently, the world’s largest burger chain, McDonald’s announced that it will be testing plant based meat with Beyond Meat (a company that is known to offer vegan burgers which taste similar to meat burgers) in Canada, where several players are already into offering vegan meal.
Not only this but Yum Brand Inc’s KFC chain also offered plant based nugget meals in a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia. So, what is compelling these F&B giants to test vegan option? Several vegan cafes and restaurants are opening across the world to cater to the demands as people are shifting to vegan lifestyle more than ever.
In India, we have cafes and upscale restaurants that are including vegan options in their menu. For example, Cafe Delhi Heights offers a Vegan menu with dishes like Vegan Poha, Brown Rice Buddha Bowl, cheeseless Pizzas and Pastas, Thai curry, Raw Papaya Salad, and Minestrone Soup.
Chef Ashish Singh, Corporate Chef at Cafe Delhi Heights & Nueva says "As more Delhiites give up meats & milk, the city seems to have become Vegan rich. From a majorly dairy dependant city to a Vegan city, the trends of Veganism are changing every season here. A cultural pot and a home to people from different countries, Delhi has started to accept this change wisely. The city recently hosted its first vegan fair too.”
From increasing farm to fresh concepts to vegetarian mock meats and vegan protein options available, the diet and nutritional sector is also promoting veganism. Ashish further adds that “With actors like Anushka Sharma and more influencers promoting Veganism, the vegan community in Delhi is becoming bigger than ever. Delhiites today are devouring everything from Vegan Pizza & Pasta to Vegan Kheer, Cakes and more. With this increasing trend, more epicureans are switching their preferences and adding more plant based nutritional meals in their diet making the whole city a "vegan friendly affair."
Meanwhile bakery cafes are also offering quite a range of vegan options for people who prefer to have guilt free sweet desserts. Chocolate Caramel Verrine, Vanilla & Raspberry Verrine, Almond Tart, and Vegan macarons are some of the options available in their latest vegan menu. “We believe that veganism is rapidly growing and this could be gauged from the fact that a number of vegan cafe have come up really fast all around,” says Kazem Samandari, Executive Chairman, L’Opéra. He adds “Today, the customers are even more aware of what they eat and live a conscious life. L’Opéra has launched the new vegan line that has been introduced across all our outlets. For our vegan range, we have used Margarine that is mainly made of refined vegetable oil and water instead of butter and water and fruit juice instead of cream and milk.”
Counter to this, Corporate Chef Sagar Bajaj at First Fiddle Restaurants says “The vegan trend was slow to pick up, and it is still picking up. However, F&B establishments are now becoming more aware of the different eating options and often offer vegan options for the health conscious people.”
From ice creams to sushi, everything has a vegan variant, but the challenge, he says is in ensuring that the taste isn't altered due to a switch in ingredients. He further shares “At Plum by Bent Chair we serve a satiating variety of comforting vegan soups like classic hot and sour with tofu and soy broth and signature Hazel chair soup with mushrooms. Crystal dumpling with celery and water chestnut, Black pepper gyoza with black fungus, shitake, beans and Portobello are some of the vegan options we have. We also do large vegan plates with Asian green in oyster sauce and tofu mushroom boy choy in black bean sauce.”