They are still a long way from toppling chicken chow mein as the nation’s favourite takeaway, but vegan meals are now the UK’s fastest growing choice, with orders rising almost fivefold over the last two years.
Burgers made from black beans, sweet potato and quinoa and vegan “fried chicken” are among the dishes challenging doner kebabs and tikka masala when households cannot be bothered to cook or do not have the time.
With 600,000 people believed to be vegan in the UK in 2018, and an increase in “flexitarians” choosing to reduce their consumption of animal products, orders of vegan takeaways grew 388% between 2016 and 2018 while vegetarian orders rose 137%, according to research by the British Takeaway Campaign.
Pakistani, Greek, Persian and Turkish takeaways also grew in popularity more rapidly than the nation’s favourites – Chinese and Indian – over the last two years, indicating a growing cosmopolitanism in UK appetites. In a blow for proponents of fish and chips, English takeaways recorded the slowest growth – less than 1%. Meanwhile average household spending on takeaways has grown to nearly 15% of food expenditure from close to 11% in 2015.