It used to be the province of fringe dwellers, outsiders and extremists. Vegans were left off dinner party guest lists and excluded from barbecues, the menu omissions too complex for even the most diligent host. Not anymore. Vegan is now so firmly entrenched in the vernacular that it rarely raises an eyebrow in restaurants, supermarkets, in fact, anywhere.
The trend – defined as someone who doesn’t eat or wear animal products – has moved from minority status to (almost) mainstream, with New York City restaurant consultancy Baum + Whiteman calling “plant-based” the food trend of 2018. Grubhub, the top food delivery marketplace in the US, reported a 19 per cent increase in users ordering vegan food in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period a year before. A Global Data report showed a startling 600 per cent increase in Americans identifying as vegan, now up to six per cent of the population. The United Kingdom has seen a 350 per cent increase and Australia, 300 per cent, making it the third fastest growing market in the world.
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