The British Kebab Awards, an annual event to celebrate local kebab restaurants across the United Kingdom, has added a vegan kebab category for the first time in its 10-year history. 

This year, the British Kebab Awards included the Best Vegan Kebab category to celebrate the growing appetite for plant-based kebabs. Sponsored by plant-based meat brand Eatplanted, this year the new vegan award was awarded to Brighton’s Beelzebab and Resist! Vegan Kitchen in King’s Lynn who will be offered a free Eatplanted kebab for a plant-based takeover for the day at their restaurants to celebrate their achievement.  

“The meaty kebab is undoubtedly a UK favorite,” Rob Reames from Eatplanted said in a statement. “So by building awareness of the surge in popularity for the plant-based version by Eatplanted’s sponsorship of this first-ever plant-based kebab category, we are helping satisfy the appetite for anyone who fancies swapping their meat for a healthier, more climate friendly option without losing out on that moorish kebab taste.”

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According to green energy experts at Uswitch, recipes for vegan kebabs got a staggering 6.8 million views on TikTok in 2022, making them one of the most popular dishes of the year on the social media platform. This is just one hint of the growing demand for plant-based options.

For the British Kebab Awards, adding a vegan category was necessary to cater to consumers’ growing preferences.

“The British Kebab Awards is a celebration of all things kebab and the introduction of the first vegan kebab category shows how the scene is evolving to cater for people’s tastes,” Ibrahim Dogus, Founder of the British Kebab Awards, said in a statement. 

“I’d like to thank Eatplanted for helping us raise awareness of the vast offering of vegan kebab restaurants and takeaways,” Dogus said.

Vegan in the UK

The United Kingdom, and particularly its capital city of London, has long been regarded as one of the most vegan-friendly destinations in the world. Although the UK is best known for its traditional, meat-heavy dishes, such as fish and chips and weekly Sunday roast, in recent years things have been changing. 

In fact, London took the top spot last year as the Best Vegan-Friendly City in the World, according to vegan resource and review tool HappyCow. The first city to ever surpass 200 fully vegan restaurants, in 2022, London now has more than 400 vegan businesses. 

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Veganism continues to grow in London, where Londoners can shop at La Fauxmagerie (the United Kingdom’s first vegan cheese shop), and indulge in some fried chicken at two locations of The Temple of Seitan (the first vegan chicken shop in the world). 

“London and Berlin remain at the top of the Vegan-Friendly Cities list. In these centers it’s difficult to find a restaurant that doesn’t have vegan options,” HappyCow founder Eric Brent previously told VegNews.

“Meanwhile, fully-vegan restaurants around the world are becoming more and more sophisticated and innovative with their menus,” he said.

Vegan food delivery in London

And according to UK-based food delivery company Deliveroo, there was a 115-percent increase in vegan food orders between October 2019 and October 2020. According to the company, customers in the cities of Brighton, Bristol, London, Manchester, and Edinburgh are placing the highest volume of vegan orders and dishes containing plant-based meat and continue to be a growing trend.

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Some of the most popular vegan dishes ordered from Deliveroo this year include the Sneaky Clucker plant-based chicken sandwich from vegan diner Oowee Vegan in Bristol; Doner Kebab Wrap from award-winning eatery What The Pitta in Brighton; and the namesake Neat Burger from Neat Burger in London and Whitechappel—a chain backed by world champion vegan race car driver Lewis Hamilton.

“It’s fantastic to see that Deliveroo customers are embracing the growing choices of vegan dishes available on the platform,” Elena Devis, Commercial Manager and Vegan Category Lead, Deliveroo said in a statement. 

“Year on year, we’ve seen huge growth in demand for plant-based food, and it is our goal as a company to be the go-to platform for healthy and vegan options.”

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