Veganuary: Sales of vegetarian and vegan dishes up again in 2022, says Sodexo

To mark Veganuary 2023, Sodexo has published its food sales data showing a year-on-year increase in the proportion of vegetarian and vegan meals sold across 476 of its UK and Ireland client sites.

  • During 2022 (January to November), 10% of all meals sold were vegetarian or vegan, compared to 8% during the same period in 2021.
  • The data shows that the highest proportion of vegetarian and vegan meals were sold by Sodexo in the East Midlands, where these accounted for more than one in five (21%) of all meals.
  • When analysed by sector, Sodexo’s research showed that its Health & Care client sites sold the highest proportion of vegetarian and vegan meals, with an average of 17%.
  • The figures are based on EPOS data sales of over 240,000 meals across Sodexo’s UK & Ireland business between Jan and Nov 2022)

Sodexo food sales data released today shows that the demand for vegan and vegetarian meals climbed year-on-year across its UK and Ireland sites from 8% of meals sold in 2021 to 10% in 2022.  The organisation continues to develop and expand its plant-based meal options to enable its customers to make more sustainable food choices.

The food sales data also revealed that the East Midlands, which accounted for an average of 21% of all meals sold by Sodexo from January to November 2022, was the region that sold the most vegetarian and vegan meals. The same period saw vegetarian and vegan meal sales of 15% in both the North West and Wales, 11% in London, 10% in Scotland, and 8% in Ireland.

Sodexo’s diverse range of client sites all reported strong sales of vegan and vegetarian meals. While Health & Care sites sold the highest proportion (17%), Corporate Services client sites followed closely with 13%, a notable increase on 2021 when an average 10% vegan and vegetarian lunch options were sold.

From selling just 2% vegan and vegetarian meals in 2021, Sodexo’s Energy and Resources client sites experienced the highest increase of all its businesses, accelerating to 12% in 2022. Schools and universities remained constant at 5%, while government sites experienced a moderate increase from 5% to 7%.

Sodexo has long been committed to providing more vegan and vegetarian meal options to suit the changing demands of its customers. As part of its Social Impact Pledge, the organisation is focused on increasing the uptake of sustainable meal options by promoting and raising awareness of sustainable plant based choices to its clients.

Vegan options offered by Sodexo include lentil celeriac chestnut pie, potato mixed bean chilli, tofu summer tart, Southern Indian vegan chickpea curry, vegan mushroom burger, vegan chicken nuggets, aubergine masala and many more.

Claire Atkins-Morris, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Sodexo, said: “Whether people are vegan, vegetarian, or just want to try something new, it’s great to see that more and more customers are trying plant-based meals across our sites. This really demonstrates a shift in consumer awareness, a wider range of options and a marketplace responding.

“We are a proud supporter of Veganuary, and our community of chefs are encouraging more customers to try our plant-based meals by developing delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes that show the variety of meal options people have at our client sites. As part of our Net Zero commitment, we have set ourselves the goal of increasing the number of plant-based meals and recipes our clients choose from   to 33% by 2025.”

Toni Vernelli, Head of Communication & Marketing at Veganuary added: “We’re delighted to see Sodexo reporting an increase in sales of vegan and vegetarian meals across their UK and Ireland client sites. Veganuary is here to support anyone who wants to try being vegan, but it makes our job a lot simpler when organisations like Sodexo are offering delicious, nutritious, and easily accessible options.”

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