This year, National Vegetarian Week falls between the 10th and 16th of May. National Vegetarian Week is a scheme run by the Vegetarian Society every year to campaign for more consumers to take up a plant-based diet.
During campaigns such as this, it can be beneficial to take a step back and review the inclusivity of your coffee shop. For instance, how many vegetarian options are you currently offering to your consumers? If the answer is little, to none, take this opportunity to reach out to your vegetarian customer base for suggestions, after all, they’ll be the ones eating it!
This year, they’re asking consumers to take the 123 challenge, as shown below in an illustration.
This challenge incentivises you to partake in this challenge with friends and family, to ensure you’re not alone in your week of eating veggie. It also means that a greater number of people partake in the challenge, bettering their health, the planet, and raising funds for the Vegetarian Society to put towards championing the plant-based lifestyle.
Who’s Taking Part?
Every year, a number of vegetarian champions come along to support the campaign and become the voice of the movement. This year, a number of celebrities have been involved, including Stephen Fry, The Hairy Bikers, Joanna Lumley and Chris Packham. Here is what some of them have had to say about eating veggie.
“I think it’s fair to say that there’s never been a better time to try cutting out meat and living a plant-based life. I’ve found it good for health and energy, and if we all joined in … well, wouldn’t the planet be pleased!”. - Stephen Fry
“If, like me, you love the wonders of this planet, then sign up now to take the Veggie 123 challenge and go veggie for seven days this National Vegetarian Week. Eating more plant-based food reduces your impact on the planet – a great step to help our world. Not only that, it’s tasty too, so go on, give it a go for a week – I challenge you.” - Chris Packam
How your coffee shop can support National Vegetarian Week
Due to the growing popularity of plant-based diets, consumers have come to expect a wide range of choice. If you have a limited menu, now is the time to modernise it.
The process of modernising your menu to offer more plant-based options may seem daunting, especially if you have no experience in creating these dishes before. Let your creative juices flow and use this opportunity to reinvigorate your offering and create some excitement around what you produce, be it an internationally inspired meal or a seasonal latte. Substitute meats and dairy for lentils, chickpeas, soya, oat milk or soya milk. If you’re struggling to come up with a completely new dish, why not take a customer favourite and create a plant-based friendly alternative? This requires little thought and ensures that the option will be a hit with your regular customers!
If you're still struggling to come up with veggie meals to add to your menu, the National Vegetarian Week website has an entire section dedicated to wonderful recipes!