If you haven’t heard of Britain’s largest baker’s vegan sausage roll, you must have been living under a rock. Gregg’s introduced the sausage roll to a great social media fanfare, and it certainly stole the headlines. While some lambasted the break from traditional fare, the vast majority of customers were delighted with the new product. It is now one of their top sellers, and the chain is struggling to keep up with demand Indeed, Gregg’s CEO, Roger Whiteside, attributed the company’s breaking of the £1bn turnover barrier to the media coverage and success of the vegan sausage roll. But it is more than that – there is a genuine and very much growing interest in the vegan product, and in veganism in general.
And who would have guessed that a vegan pie would have been branded the Supreme Champion at the British Pie Awards? All the more remarkable as the competition was held in Melton Mowbray, home of the classic pork pie. The winner, a curried butternut squash and sweet potato treat made by Somerset butcher Jon Thorner, beat nearly 900 other pies to the accolade, only 68 of which were vegan. Jon wanted to make his fare more accessible to all, recognising the rise in popularity of veganism as a lifestyle.
Matthew O’Callaghan, Chairman of the panel of judges, said, “This pie isn’t just for vegans, it’s a pie for everybody. With this award we can truly say that veganism is now entering the mainstream of British food.”
And while some traditionalist chefs may not like it, most food producers and major retailers now recognise there is a huge demand for vegan fare. The desire for a better lifestyle, along with environmental and animal welfare concerns, will ensure that veganism continues to gain momentum.
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