AJ Goddards Pie and Mash—a 128-year-old British pub in London—will soon close due to low revenue. Shop manager Simon Clarke believes that the once-popular eatery is a victim of gentrification, which he conflates with the rise of veganism. “People that have moved in around here over the last few years are definitely into fad diets,” Clarke said. “I’ve had a few people come in off the streets asking if I do vegan pies. It’s like some kind of bad joke—we’re a traditional pie and mash shop. Of course we don’t sell vegan pies.” Unlike AJ Goddards, businesses across the United Kingdom have innovated their menus to serve the growing vegan population—which increased by 600 percent, to 3.5 million individuals, since 2016. This month, pub chain Marston’s added the vegan B12 Burger (made by British brand Moving Mountains Foods) to its 413 UK locations, while fellow pub chain Hungry Horse debuted vegan Fish and Chips (made by local brand VBites) to more than 280 locations. UK supermarkets are crediting the vegan boom for increased sales, including Tesco—which reported that a vegan mince pie it launched during last year’s holiday season attracted 348,000 new customers in December alone. Clarke plans to host a closing party for AJ Goddards, sans vegan pies, in the near future.
Photo courtesy of SWNS