The latest statistics from Feed it Back, the leading customer feedback and online reputation specialists, have revealed there has been an increase in the amount of negative reviews about vegan food when analysing data from January 2018 and May 2018.
The statistics, which have been taken from the reviews of over 400,000 diners from the restaurant, quick service restaurant and pub industries, reveal that negative reviews around vegan food have risen by 5% when comparing the two months, demonstrating a rise in consumer expectation of vegan dishes.
Reviews were mostly critical of the lack of choice in vegan dining options, with guests feeling that menus were often limited and uninspiring. Value for money was also a common concern among vegan diners, with guests discerning that they were often offered the “regular” meal option with ingredients or sides removed to make it vegan. They were then charged the same price for a meal, despite having less food.
In addition, feedback cited customers feeling that there was a lack of understanding about vegan diets with some eateries failing to recognise what foods are suitable for vegans. In some instances, guests reported being served meals containing dairy, eggs and even meat. Similar issues were extended to beverages, with a number of survey results noting restaurants lacking alternative options to milk, meaning vegan guests could not enjoy an after-dinner tea or coffee.
With an estimated 3.5million Britons now identifying as vegan, a significant increase from 500,000 in 2016, the speed in which veganism is gaining mainstream traction has meant that operators must ensure they are not only meeting customer demands but challenging competitive market trends.
Carlo Platia, CEO of Feed it Back said: “Hospitality is a fast-paced and innovative industry that is constantly evolving in an ongoing pursuit to stay relevant and create exceptional customer experiences. In this environment, it’s imperative that operators understand what is going on in the industry, but even more so that they actively seek out, encourage and track customer feedback across all available social channels, review sites and other platforms, so they can gain true insight on how to drive those crucial return visits.
“This year, veganism has been the dominant trend in the industry, but our results show that it’s not good enough for operators to simply ‘pay lip-service’ by putting one or two vegan items on their menu by stripping back existing dishes. Clearly, consumer expectation has significantly risen, driven in part by large vegan ranges and innovation across the major supermarkets, and the industry needs to focus menu innovation around variety and bespoke dishes.”
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