Veg-Centric Dining, Herbivores on the Rise

Vegetables will dominate your dinner plate in the years to come according to Baum+ Whiteman restaurant consultants. “Veggies will shove animal protein to the edges or off the plate all together”. Although meats still dominate in mainstream society, there were many plant-based restaurants and retail outlets opened throughout North America last year. More are expected to open this year due to the high demand for plant-based meat alternative products. Veg is in.

Restaurants are becoming more “Veg-centric” these days and chefs are slowly tilting their menus to be a lot more veggie friendly to accommodate flexitarians, vegans, vegetarians and even meat enthusiasts. A report shows that 26% of Americans ate less meat last year. With the rise in beef prices and worries about hormones and antibiotics, more and more carnivores demand more “cleaner meats” and alternatives. Who says vegan can’t be fun? There’s a common perception that vegan food can be bland, boring and not satisfying. But now plant-based meat alternatives are changing people’s minds when it comes to vegan eating.

Vegetable charcuterie boards using cashew based cheeses, meatless burgers, meatballs, sausages, salami, even barbeque ribs using plant-based proteins are becoming great choices even for meat lovers. With a lot more resources and techniques available for vegan chefs, it’s now easier to find these fun vegan alternatives that equally provides the level of satisfaction from eating real meat.

In Canada, YamChops is the first ever vegan butcher shop launched located in Toronto. The vegan butcher shop opened three years ago and husband and wife Toni and Michael Abramson cannot be more thrilled on the success of their business. With a philosophy that plant-based proteins can be flavourful, their vegan butcher shop concept has taken Canada by storm and is now thriving more than ever and currently expanding all throughout Canada and North America. Their focus is to provide an easy access for people to buy center-of-the plate protein and serving up innovative plant based meals that is ready, healthy and delicious. A lot of these vegan stores and restaurants popping up believe that plant based proteins can and should be a staple of any kitchen or diet.

Here are some facts relating to the popularity of plant-based proteins:

  • 26% of Americans reduced their meat intake in 2016
  • 36% of Americans eat at least one plant based meal per week
  • 36% of Americans who buys plant based meals, prefer plant based milk/cheese instead.
  • 60% American millenials consume plant based meats
  • The market for non-dairy products is sky rocketing and plant-based meat alternatives are expected to reach $5 billion by 2020.

According to the Global Food and Drink Trends 2016 Report, the growing ranks of novel protein sources and potential replacements appeal to the everyday consumer, foreshadowing a profoundly changed marketplace on which what was formerly “alternative” could take over the mainstream. There are several factors affecting the swerve in going plant-based which includes consideration for animal welfare, the use of much cleaner, healthier and more natural ingredients, sustainability and social responsibility. So eating Veg-centric is going to keep growing.

World Table is an on-going column penned by Going Global’s Host Cristina Carpio. It documents her love of food, cocktails, luxury travel and the best the world has to offer.

Cristina Carpio is a television personality, brand and restaurant strategist as well as a passionate food and beverage expert. Travel and living life to the fullest is in her DNA. In addition to hosting Going Global, Cristina is a country ambassador for a global immersive dining platform and has a column for a noted North American food and beverage industry magazine. She has also been recognized for her work and involvement in charitable and community projects and has hosted several prestigious festivals, fashion and cultural events. 

Join the journey and follow her global food and travel adventures on Twitter: @ccarpio01 & @goingglobaltv and Instagram:@cristina.carpio01 & @goingglobaltv