As the number of British vegans climbs to over half a million, the market for plant-based meals, snacks, and beverages is at an all-time high – and PETA is celebrating some of the hottest new vegan products with its fourth annual Vegan Food Awards. Some of the winners are below:
- Best Vegan Menu: Gauthier Soho’s Menu Les Plantes
Gauthier Soho first offered a 100 per cent plant-based menu for World Vegan Month last year, and it was such a hit that the London restaurant decided to make it permanent with this exquisite eight-course menu. Gauthier Soho’s James Lewis told PETA: “I have to say that when you suggested we contribute to World Vegan Month with an all vegan menu, I didn’t realise the amount of interest we would have. Guests have requested it ever since, so we felt that it was the natural step to take.”
- Best Vegan Street Food: Club Mexicana
This London-based pop-up offers the taste of Mexico without harming animals, with dishes such as authentic cheesy vegan nachos and flavourful pulled “pork” burritos made with jackfruit. ¡Muy sabroso!
- Best Vegan Salad: LEON’s SuperClean Quinoa Salad
A leader in healthy food to go, LEON puts the “super” in superfood with this fresh vegan salad featuring semi-dried tomatoes, peas, cucumber, fresh herbs, and quinoa – all topped with pomegranate seeds.
- Best Vegan Cake: Le Pain Quotidien’s Cocoa & Pear Cake
Vegans love dessert, and this favourite brunch destination does not disappoint with its sweet, delicate, cruelty-free cake.
- Best Vegan Sandwich: Pret A Manger’s Chana Chaat Flat Bread
Pret not only opened up its first all-veggie store this year but also nabbed a PETA award for this Indian-inspired wrap featuring chickpeas, fruity mango compote, and tangy coconut yoghurt. Yum!
- Best Vegan Curry: JD Wetherspoon’s Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Spinach Curry
JD Wetherspoon head of food development, Jameson Robinson, said, “We are thrilled to receive the award, as this dish has been a very popular choice in our pubs. It is recognition of our expanding vegan range of dishes that also includes Pasta Pomodoro and our new recipe five-bean chilli”.
“From high-street chains to luxury restaurants, businesses are jumping to feed the public’s hunger for healthy, humane plant-based food”, says PETA’s Dawn Carr. “Since winners include all-vegan bacon, eggs, aged cheddar, and even caviar, PETA’s Vegan Food Awards show that ethical fare is more diverse and exciting than ever – all without harming a single animal.”
In addition to sparing animals daily suffering and a terrifying death in today’s industrialised meat, egg, and dairy industries, vegan meals are greener, as the United Nations has said that a move towards a vegan lifestyle is necessary to offset the worst effects of climate change. People who go vegan are also less likely to suffer from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
Interest in vegan living is at an all-time high, and Google Trends reports that UK residents are searching “vegan” in record numbers. Numerous reports support the buzz, including a recent Mintel survey which found that a staggering 20 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds have chosen to ditch animal-derived foods. Many celebrities – including David Haye, Joaquin Phoenix, Ellie Goulding, and Alan Cumming – also praise the benefits of vegan eating.