The new vegan kiosk at Stamford Bridge
“Who ate all the… buffalo cauliflower wings?”
Not your standard football ground chant.
But when Chelsea hosted Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday home supporters were able to sample such delicacies at the Premier League’s first fully vegan kiosk.
“Healthy eating is being linked more and more with the health of the planet,” Jon Davies, managing director of Levy UK – the catering company that serves Stamford Bridge – told BBC Sport.
“More and more, young fans are environmentally aware and they’re looking for more options.”
According to the latest research by the Vegan Society, conducted in 2018, there are 600,000 vegans in Britain – up from an estimated 150,000 in 2006.
League Two club Forest Green Rovers was officially recognised as the world’s first vegan football club in 2017, and an increasing number of footballers – including Barcelona great Lionel Messi – have adopted a solely plant-based diet.
Studies have concluded a meatless diet does not put athletes at a fitness disadvantage.
Veganism is also good business right now.
The UK market for meat-free foods was reportedly worth £740m in 2018, according to Mintel – up from £539m only three years ago.
Greggs have introduced a vegan sausage roll, KFC a vegan burger, and Burger King a plant-based patty (which is not for vegans, apparently).
Davies says: “It’s not about taking options away – it’s about adding more into the mix.”
Levy serves a number of other big sports clubs and venues, including Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Leicester City, tennis’ All England Club, Edgbaston cricket ground and Harlequins Rugby.
And Davies has not ruled 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.”
Watch more interesting stuff on veganism…
The new vegan menu at Stamford Bridge