Living the Plant-Based Life: Growing Appetite for Vegan Food in Singapore

There are communities on social media for support, more awareness of the diet option and more restaurants and supermarkets offering plant-based options, she said.

MORE COMPANIES OFFERING VEGAN FOOD

Among the companies catering to the growing number of people looking for alternatives to meat and animal products is Everyday Vegan Grocer.

The supermarket, which also has a delicatessen, opened in November 2020 and currently occupies a two-storey store on Haji Lane.

Owner Amanda Lee said she started it so people could buy vegan products without having to go through the tedious process of checking ingredients at brick-and-mortar stores.

Sometimes they can discover a possible animal-derived ingredient in products when they come home from shopping and feel disappointed in themselves, she said.

“That’s why most people jump off the bandwagon. They feel like there’s so much to think about…it shouldn’t be that hard,” she said.

The 34-year-old is familiar with these questions. She began her journey into veganism about 10 years ago, taking two to three years to completely stop eating animal products.

She wanted to give people the kind of access to vegan options and pricing that she didn’t have on her trip, she said.

For example, among the store’s offerings, there are vegan burgers that cost S$5.

“We wanted a menu that would appeal to everyone in terms of taste and price, so everyone could try vegan and choose kindness. Even if it’s only one meal a week,” she said.

Big companies have also started serving vegans. Cruise line Royal Caribbean International and airline Emirates, for example, offer vegan menus.

In July this year, Emirates began offering vegan options in its in-flight menu for flights departing from Singapore and in August did the same for flights to Singapore.

“The demand for plant-based food offerings on our airlines has increased dramatically over the past decade,” said Mr. Rashid Al Ardha, the carrier’s Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei.

He noted that there is a particular surge in demand during Veganuary, a global movement encouraging a vegan diet that takes place in January each year.

In 2021, Emirates served up to 10% more vegan meals on all its flights in January than in other months.

Demand for vegan food on its ships has increased, said Francis Dias, director of food and beverage at Royal Caribbean International.

He serves around 90 vegan meals a day in the main dining room at Spectrum of the Seas, which is currently hosted in Singapore. The dining room can accommodate more than 1,800 guests.

By comparison, when the company first launched its vegan offerings in 2019, there were only “a few orders” for vegan meals per day, he said.