Retailers have an opportunity to grow food to go and meal for tonight sales by embracing vegan options, new research has revealed.

According to the latest Lumina Intelligence’s Menu & Food Trends Report, health-consciousness and a focus on sustainability have been highlighted as some of the sector’s mega trends. Lumina Intelligence research found that the total proportion of dishes containing meat has fallen by -3ppts from 2019 to 2022 while vegan diets when eating out have increased +11% quarter-on-quarter.

The average calorie count of a dish fell by -2.4% from May to October 2022, according to the research, although some of this was attributed to mandatory calorie labelling legislation which came into force in April 2022.

Lumina Intelligence senior insight manager Katherine Prowse said that this out-of-home growth in demand for vegan offerings could translate into increased sales for retailers.

“The rise in vegan diets when eating out comes of no surprise as we hit Veganuary when consumers temporarily cut back on meat products,” she said. “For convenience operators with a food to go offering, it’s worth expanding their vegan options for lunchtime and dinner occasions to capitalise on this trend. Retailers could also look to expand their meal for tonight offering to include more vegan and lower calorie dishes to tempt shoppers that want a meat-free or healthier treat meal but are saving money by not eating out.”