For years football food has been a typical steak and ale pie, cheesy chips, or an after-pub curry. Chelsea’s dedication in being the first Premier League club to introduce a fully vegan kiosk is the next step for the Premier League, where modernisation appears inescapable.
During the Blues’ entertaining 2-2 draw with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, home supporters were able to sample vegan delicacies, thanks to Levy UK. The catering company is modelled on the EAT Lancet ‘ideal plate’ for planetary and personal health, which also examines the carbon impact of the animal products used on site.
Managing director Jon Davies, told BBC Sport:
Healthy eating is being linked more and more with the health of the planet. More and more, young fans are environmentally aware and they’re looking for more options.
Levy UK serve at a vast number of sports venues, including Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Leicester City, Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Harlequins Rugby, And Tennis’ All England Club. Davies has refused to rule out introducing vegan-only kiosks at other arenas: ‘We’d be interested in rolling this out around the country,’ he says. ‘We don’t think it’s a London-centric thing.’
The latest research by the Vegan Society in 2018, reflects that there are 600,000 vegans in Britain, which has increased by an estimated 450,000 since 2006.
Studies have highlighted the benefits of a solely plant-based diet; as such an increasing number of footballers have adopted this diet, including Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin, who scored a stunning equaliser to give Chelsea ‘a true flavour of vegan football’.
Forest Green Rovers was officially recognised as the world’s first vegan football club in 2017, as the “greenest” team with the most ecofriendly protocols.
Further, veganism is good business right now. According to Mintel, in 2018 the UK market for meat-free foods reportedly increased from £539m to £740m.
‘It’s not about taking options away – it’s about adding more into the mix‘; Chelsea’s menu consists of a Vegan Kitchen Pizza, Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, Vegan Doner Kebab and a Halloumi and Falafel Wrap. Fast-food chains have also included vegan options: Greggs’ vegan sausage roll, KFC’s vegan burger, and Burger King’s plant-based patty.
It is refreshing to see sports like football embrace veganism. Let’s now see how many clubs will follow suit in introducing a fully vegan kiosk.