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Veganuary: Sodexo reports increase in sales of vegetarian and vegan dishes in 2024

Marking Veganuary 2024, Sodexo has reported another year-on-year increase in the consumption of meat-free meals.

Analysis of over 2.7 million meals sold across 285 of its UK and Ireland client sites in 2023 reveals that 11 per cent were vegan or vegetarian. This represents an incremental increase on the 10 per cent reported in the previous year.

Sodexo states its diverse range of delicious meat-free meal options have been instrumental in driving this growth.

The food sales data shows that 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.

As part of Sodexo’s 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. It is also a key action lever as part of the company’s decarbonisation journey to net zero.

Claire Atkins Morris, Director of Sustainability at Sodexo UK and Ireland, commented: “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.  

“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.” 

Sodexo’s commitment to providing plant-based and plant-forward meal choices extends beyond its own menus. Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation has also played a pivotal role in supporting Made In Hackney’s mission to provide free and nutritious vegan meals to over 300 beneficiaries weekly since the inception of the partnership in 2021.

Sarah Bentley, Made In Hackney Founder, said: “The Stop Hunger Foundation has provided critical support to our community meal service and cookery classes helping us tackle food insecurity for hundreds of households with nutritious, diverse, planet friendly meals. 
“Evolving the nation’s eating habits to more plant-centred eating is a crucial tool in the fight against the climate crisis and spiraling lifestyle related health diseases. It is inspiring to work with TSHF and Sodexo as they see the interconnectedness of all these issues and how plant-based food can play a central role in tackling them all.” 

In 2023, a three-year core costs grant of £50,000 was awarded, empowering the charity to enhance food security, offer life skills training, and reduce social isolation through volunteer engagement.

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