Catering giant plans to have 33 per cent plant-based meals on its menus by 2025
Sodexo has reported a further increase in the consumption of meat-free meals.
Against the backdrop of Veganuary, the catering giant said analysis of over 2.7 million meals sold across 285 of its UK and Ireland client sites in 2023 showed that 11 per cent were vegan or vegetarian.
That represents an incremental increase on the 10 per cent reported in the previous year.
Sodexo said its range of meat-free meal options - including Southern Indian Chickpea Curry, Potato and Cauliflower Masala and Japanese Teriyaki Tofu - have been instrumental in driving the growth.
The growth aligns with Sodexo’s social impact pledge and its commitment to increase the take-up of sustainable meals by offering more plant-based meal options, and is a key action lever as part of its decarbonisation journey to net zero, the company said.
Consumers in the East Midlands chose meat-free dishes more frequently than in any other region, accounting for 19 per cent of all meals sold compared to 18 per cent in the north west, 16 per cent in Ireland, 15 per cent in London, 13 per cent in Wales and 11 per cent in Scotland.
Claire Atkins Morris, director of sustainability at Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “The increasing preference for meat-free options among our customers is a testament to both the shift in consumer awareness and to the work done by our talented chefs to reformulate menus and create new delicious plant-forward and plant-based recipes.
“With a wide array of tasty and nutritious options available across our client sites, it is important that our consumers are able to make well-informed decisions about the food they eat.
“We have committed to featuring 33 per cent plant-based meals on our menus by 2025, as we respond to evolving preferences and navigate towards net zero 2040.”