For the first time ever, Brighton and Hove has been crowned vegan capital of the world.
While Portland in the US and Bristol in the UK have historically reigned champion, this year, the online cookbook Chef’s Pencil has given Brighton the top spot on its annual scoreboard.
Chef’s Pencil uses search data from Google Trends to determine which city is the world leader in veganism.
Brighton has long been renowned for its abundance of vegan restaurants and shops. According to restaurant locator Happy Cow, the city is home to more than 240 vegan and vegetarian-friendly eateries. Popular spots include the sushi bar Happy Maki and pizzeria Purezza.
According to Chef’s Pencil, this year the data showed a slight decline in search popularity of vegan-related terms. But plant-based food sales are still growing.
This could be because flexitarian diets, which focus on the reduction of animal products rather than total elimination, are growing in popularity.
Charlotte Lucas, a corporate engagement manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, told Chef’s Pencil: “As flexitarianism becomes more mainstream, with 40 percent of European meat eaters planning to eat less meat, it’s no longer only vegans and vegetarians who are recognizing that every meal is an opportunity to eat more sustainably.”
The UK leads the way for vegan food
In terms of “most popular countries for veganism in 2022,” the UK came out on top, closely followed by Germany and Austria. The US came in at number 11.
In the UK, it’s easier than ever for consumers to choose meatless items.
From McDonald’s to KFC to Pizza Hut, popular restaurant chains offer plenty of vegan products. And every single supermarket now offers plant-based items, including Tesco, the country’s biggest.
Derek Sarno, Tesco’s head of plant-based food innovation and co-creator of its vegan Wicked Kitchen range, said earlier this year: “The amount of choice these days is mouth-watering.”
“Almost every category within supermarkets now has plant-based options, making it easier than ever for those considering or switching to embracing more meat-free days of the week.”