Foodservice companies serving the care home sector are being urged to provide more vegan options after research showed the number of vegan residents has almost trebled over the past five years.
Figures released by the charity Vegetarian for Life to mark National Vegetarian Week show the number of residents following a vegan diet in UK residential care homes has risen by 167% since 2014.
There are currently more than 11,000 care homes for older people in the UK with the total number of vegetarians and vegans now estimated to be over 7,000, across both nursing and residential care.
The charity said the rise in residents following a vegan diet meant there is more need than ever for catering contractors to ensure there is adequate vegan meal options available.
“It’s great that more people are choosing a vegan lifestyle, but it just goes to show that we have a lot of work to do to ensure that there are adequate meal and snack options at care homes nationwide,” said Amanda Woodvine, chief executive at Vegetarian for Life.
The charity has identified more than 1,200 cares homes that have pledged to cater well and ethically for older vegans or vegetarians in their care.