Leon saw a 21% increase in sales of vegan meals during January, it has revealed.
From its all-day menu (excluding cakes and drinks) 46% of sales were vegetarian and 34% vegan in January 2018. In January 2019, sales went up to 64% vegetarian and 55% vegan, it said.
The chain has pledged to provide more plant-based dishes on its menu and they now account for 48% of its menu compared with 36% two years ago.
Breakfast dishes are 20% more plant-based than in 2017, with a 33% rise on the lunch menu over that period. 48% of lunch dishes are currently vegetarian or vegan.
Leon is bidding to keep the momentum going by launching a campaign titled ‘Plants Aren’t Just for Veganuary’, which calls on the public to share their love of plants throughout the year starting with a series of giveaways on its Twitter feed for one week.
People will be asked what they love about plant-based dishes and for their tastiest plant-based recipes. Those who submit will be in with a chance of winning a week of free plant-based lunches at Leon and free copies of their most recent cookbook, ‘Fast Vegan’.
For 15 years, Leon has pioneered a move towards more vegetables and plants and wants to increase the number of plant-based meals sold every month in 2019.
It plans to roll out new vegan and vegetarian options throughout the year following last month’s launch of the LOVe Burger, a completely plant-based patty in a bun.
John Vincent, founder of Leon, said: “Leon is built on five themes – Food that tastes good and does you good, makes you feel good after you eat it, is affordable and kind to the planet. Plants are key to all five. We have had a 15-year love affair with vegetables and we’re excited that Leon guests feel the same.”
The Vegan Society estimates that there were 600,000 vegans in Great Britain in 2018, with the number quadrupling over the last four years. A recent survey by Finder.com has even claimed that the number of vegans in the UK is set to skyrocket by 327% by 2020.
The poll results suggest that over the next year, 2.2. million people will adopt veganism, increasing the vegan population to around 2.9 million.
Leon operates 52 UK restaurants and nine internationally.