SA a global leader when it comes to vegan grub orders, says Uber Eats

02 November 2020 - 13:40
Uber Eats says vegan food is growing in popularity among South Africans.
Uber Eats says vegan food is growing in popularity among South Africans.
Image: Uber Eats

SA ranks among the top five countries for the most ordered vegan dishes globally, according to Uber Eats.

It says it experienced a 71% increase in healthy orders made during the hard lockdown, a trend which has continued.

The UK, Poland, France and Portugal were the other countries that featured in Uber Eats' top five.

In SA a traditional vegan burger patty has been the most popular item ordered in this food category, followed by a wheat-based margarita pizza and roasted butternut curry.

Soya butter chicken was the most ordered meal for those who aren’t yet ready to make the jump from vegetarian to vegan.

“Locally, we’re excited by the continued uptake of vegan orders on the app.

“What we’ve seen is that South Africans are slowly taking the leap from vegetarianism into veganism, as restaurants are now offering vegan-friendly substitutes for some of their most iconic dishes,” said Shane Austin, head of operations at Uber Eats South Africa.

Tomatoes were the most removed items of any vegan order, followed by onions, while the most common swap-in was vegan cheese.

Vegan options still limited: study

However, a study into the vegan diet by University of KwaZulu-Natal graduate Sansha Kohidh for her master's degree in dietetics showed that local vegans still found it a challenge to find vegan options in restaurants.

She conducted a cross-sectional study by posting an online questionnaire to vegans on the SA Vegan Society Facebook page.

Her results indicated that the main motive for following the diet was to help prevent cruelty to animals and protect the environment and its resources. A serious challenge faced by vegans was finding vegan options in restaurants.

Kohidh highlighted the need for fortified food products and the use of nutritional supplements to reduce possible nutrient deficiencies.

“Despite its growing popularity, there are a lot of misconceptions about the diet, including that the food is bland and tasteless, expensive and lacking nutrition, having no dairy or animal products in it,” she said.