Veganism is on the rise as more South Africans opt for meat-free meals. Picture: Pexels/ Ella Olsson
Veganism is on the rise as more South Africans opt for meat-free meals. Picture: Pexels/ Ella Olsson

The most popular vegan dishes in SA revealed

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Oct 30, 2020

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Veganism is on the rise as more South Africans opt for meat-free meals. With November being World Vegan Month, the spotlight will firmly be on plant-based diets.

This week, food ordering and delivery service platform Uber Eats released a compiled data around customers’ eating habits when it comes to vegan dishes, including the rising popularity of vegan dishes in the app, and their favourite meals in cities and countries across Europe.

Uber Eats experienced a 71% increase in healthy orders made during the hard lockdown, a trend which has since continued. However, in true South African form, locals have found where pleasure meets plant-based.

The most popular vegan item ordered was the traditional vegan patty burger, sans the mayo, a wheat-based Margherita pizza, and roasted butternut curry rounded up the top three. Uber Eats’ data also shows that soya butter chicken was the most ordered meal for those who are not yet ready to make the jump from vegetarian to vegan.

Given the increased demand for healthier alternatives, the app has further on-boarded a variety of restaurants to cater to any craving and lifestyle needs. This year's orders from January to October have doubled as compared to last year of the same period and tripled since 2018.

In a statement, the delivery service's head of operations, Shane Austin said locally, they are excited by the continued uptake of vegan orders on the app. What they have seen is that South Africans are slowly leaping vegetarianism into veganism, as restaurants are now offering vegan-friendly substitutes for some of their most iconic dishes.

According to the food delivery service, South Africa is ranked within the top five countries for the most ordered vegan dishes globally which highlights how locals are loving this lifestyle. Some of the most popular requests made by citizens on their vegan orders include adding a teaspoon of cocoa to oat milk to give it a chocolate flavour while swapping yoghurt for hummus.

Earlier this year, findings from South African retail stores Pick n Pay and Checkers showed that plant-based eating habits are on the rise.

In a statement, Head of Innovation and Trend at Pick n Pay, Nicki Russell said that their research shows more customers are opting for a "flexitarian" diet which incorporates more plant-based options and less meat.

“What started as ’Meatless Monday’ has since expanded to include more and more days of the week.

"We’ve been working really hard to bring customers new and innovative local plant-based offerings to create a one-stop destination for customers wanting to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle.

"The new PnP plant-based products will give customers greater variety. We have more on-the-go snacks and fresh plant-based convenience meal options such as our Bean and Corn Bites, as well as more indulgent plant-based items, like our frozen samoosas and pies, and vegan chocolates,” said Russell.

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