Veganism is absolutely thriving currently, with three and a half times as many vegans in the UK as there was around 10 years ago. It’s one of Britain’s fastest growing lifestyles. So why can we still not grab breakfast on-the-go?
When it comes to lunch and dinner, vegans have no need to struggle in the UK. There are so many places to grab a vegan meal deal or quick lunch during the day, and pretty much every high street restaurant chain has one or more vegan options these days. But what about that all-important morning meal? I often find myself running late and grabbing something to eat at the train station in a morning… which often ends up actually being a lunch-time sandwich or wrap from Sainsbury’s/M&S. And that’s not really what you want at 8am on a Monday morning!
In fact, the only place providing a decent vegan breakfast on-the-go right now is McDonald’s. Of all places, McDonald’s! And that’s not even intentionally! louiseeatsleaves of Instagram recently shared this secret vegan life hack at McDonald’s: order a plain bagel, and a portion of hash browns, combine the 2… just add ketchup. Not so bad. Of course, a bit of avocado spread on the bagel wouldn’t go amiss here, but beggars can’t be choosers, it seems. At least that’s 1 thing you now know of to grab in a morning!
What’s surprising to me, though, is that places like Pret who provide croissants and pastries in the a.m. don’t have a vegan option. We know it’s not hard to do: Jus Rol croissants, cinnamon swirls, pain au chocolat, etc are all vegan friendly (bar the all-butter versions)! So why not take advantage as a coffee shop with thousands of people in and out of your doors every morning? Starbucks, Costa, Café Nero… where are your vegan breakfasts?! Subway is another, although, let’s face it… they don’t even have a vegan lunchtime option other than a salad sandwich. They’re lightyears behind.
It’s just the next step in the vegan wave and it’s about time businesses took advantage of it! And, no, coconut porridge doesn’t count. Because porridge is boring and disgusting. You can’t change my mind! At least provide some breakfast cookies to dunk in our coffee, or something. Banana bread, flapjack, muffins… there are so many easily-veganisable grab and go breakfast foods that UK coffee shops could be taking advantage of.
What’s more, you could provide vegan smoothies, avocado on toast, breakfast burritos, the possibilities are endless. It’s about time the gap in the market was closed! Yes, plenty of independent vegan businesses are already providing fantastic vegan breakfasts, both to dine in and to take away… and independent business should be the top priority for our vegan dolla! However, we don’t always have the time… it’s not always on the way during rush hour… and if we want veganism to become truly widespread then it needs to be accessible to the masses. And as such, I call on UK chain coffee shops to get on it!