Vegan Christmas dinners are replacing the traditional Turkey feast

It's not the only festive custom that's losing favour 

Sarah Young
Thursday 29 November 2018 12:21
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If there’s one time of year that people care most about traditions, it’s Christmas, but according to a new report, the festive meal and all its trimmings could soon be a thing of the past.

For many of us, sitting down for Christmas dinner means going head-to-head with a plate piled high with turkey, lashings of gravy and pigs in blankets.

But, the rise of veganism in the UK means that meat-free meals are becoming increasingly commonplace.

So much so, that Tesco’s annual Christmas report has revealed that one fifth of hosts will cater for vegan or vegetarian diets this year.

The figures also showed that there is a “clear North-South divide” when it comes to the boom in plant-based mains.

In Scotland, just five per cent of families will sit down to a vegan or vegetarian Christmas dinner compared to nine per cent of people living in the South.

And it should come as no surprise to learn that Brighton has been declared “the vegan capital of the UK”, where 12 per cent plan to serve a plant-based Christmas feast.

Despite this, Turkey does remain the most popular option for now with nearly two thirds of Britons choosing the traditional bird as their centrepiece.

Similarly, an overwhelming number of people said that their main meal wouldn’t be the same without the obligatory addition of Brussels sprouts, with two thirds listing the divisive vegetable as an important festive dinner staple.

The new data also reveals that Christmas customs like the traditional pud are falling out of favour.

While 40 per cent of households will still buy one this year, the over-55s make up the bulk of these purchases with less than a quarter of 18-34 year olds saying they will choose it as their Christmas day dessert.

Instead, these younger consumers are opting for alternatives like chocolate pudding or pannetone, causing sales of the classic Christmas pudding to fall at around one per cent year on year.

Tesco’s Christmas report was published to celebrate “the many debates and rituals that make Christmas what it is for people up and down the country,” Alessandra Bellini, the chain’s aptly named chief customer officer, says.

“Our research found that, by and large, we’re still a nation of traditionalists – but with a third of people mixing things up at Christmas each year, that is changing.”

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