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The Rise Of The Vegetables – And Vegan Hemp Burgers!

Anthony Manual, Director of El Mexicano Zapata

From cauliflower pizza and rice paper rolls to vegan sausage rolls, new data shows Kiwis are ordering healthy takeaways in growing numbers.

Data from online food delivery platform Menulog shows a 30% increase in orders of vegan dishes in 2022 compared to last year. Orders for vegetarian dishes were up 21% for the same period.

The rise in vegan and vegetarian food delivery options highlights people’s changing dietary habits as well as the demand for greater choice, which includes everything from vegan hemp burgers and falafel pitas to vegan nachos and burritos.

Anthony Manual, Director of El Mexicano Zapata in Rotorua, says sales of the restaurant’s vegan dishes have doubled this year.

“It’s quite extraordinary. My vegan items are almost our best sellers making up nearly 40% of our weekly sales,” he says.

“Mexican food is typically all about meat, but by being a bit healthier and losing none of the flavour, the popularity of our vegan dishes has skyrocketed.”

El Mexicano Zapata’s Vegan Nachos and Vegan Burrito are in the top five vegan dishes on the Menulog platform.

“If I look at the customers buying these items, it isn’t just vegans, it’s people who normally order meat but they get hooked on the vegan dishes. People are starting to understand you don’t need meat to be satisfied - vegetables are just as good, if not better.”

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It isn’t just vegan options on the rise with vegetarian samosas and spring rolls the most ordered vegetarian items.

Intentionally, the Menulog data did not take into account french fries, arguably the most popular vegan option! Almost two fifths (38%) of meals ordered on Menulog featured french fries. Cantabrians and Dunedinites can’t get enough of them with nearly 50% of all orders in Christchurch and Dunedin choosing fries.

Chiray Shah, Owner of Status Vegan Cafe in Auckland says his sales have skyrocketed this year.

“I have owned this restaurant for over three years and in 2022 business has never been better. Kiwis are embracing the vegan lifestyle and making the switch from the typical meaty diets, it's quite remarkable to see.”

Menulog Commercial Director ANZ, Rory Murphy, says demand for healthier takeaway options have been growing for a number of years.

“The latest data reflects how eating habits are changing and our restaurant partners are providing greater choice to meet their customer’s needs.

“Kiwis lead busy lifestyles and they are also increasingly more conscious of eating healthy food. We expect vegetable and vegan takeaway options to continue to grow in popularity and rival traditional meat dishes.”

© Scoop Media

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