Anglia Crown extends its vegetarian range for hospital patients with the launch of eight new dishes, which are also suitable for people following a vegan diet.
The new individual frozen meals form part of the company’s award-winning Crown Advantage with Smartpack technology range. They will be launched in November this year to coincide with World Vegan Day (1 November) and World Vegan Month (1-31 November).
Dishes range from stews, casseroles and hot pots, to pasta-based meals and curries, as well as vegetarian sausages and burgers.
Anglia Crown, which manufactures chilled and frozen prepared meals for the healthcare sector, has developed the range in response to a significant increase in demand for vegan meals in recent years.
Paul Howell, managing director at Anglia Crown, said, “We recognise that a stay in hospital can be a stressful time and the last thing patients want to worry about is whether there will be a suitable meal option for their diet, preferences or needs.
“At Anglia Crown, we have been working hard to extend our vegan meals as demand has quadrupled over the last seven years.
“According to figures released by the Vegan Society last year, there are now three and a half times as many vegans as there were in 2006, making it the fastest growing lifestyle movement.”
The research commissioned by the Vegan Society in partnership with Vegan Life magazine found there are more than half a million vegans in Britain – at least 1.05% of the population aged 15 and over. The study also concluded that 3.25% of the population, equating to around 1.68 million people, are either vegetarian or vegan.
New dishes being introduced by Anglia Crown include a vegetable and lentil stew; a vegetable casserole; a vegetable hot pot and a vegetable jalfrezi. There will also be a vegetarian pasta and vegetarian pasta bolognaise, as well as vegetarian sausages and burgers.
The meals will join Anglia Crown’s existing wide selection of vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes, spanning across the company’s individual frozen meal range Crown Advantage and its multi-portion chilled and frozen range, Crown Choice.
A total of 15 vegetarian main dishes are available within Crown Advantage, of which 11 are suitable for vegans.
While Crown Choice has 36 vegetarian mains, of which 11 are suitable for vegans. The range also includes several accompaniments such as potatoes, pasta and vegetables sides suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
In addition, Crown Choice has nine soups suitable for vegetarians, of which two are suitable for a vegan diet; 45 vegetarian-friendly hot desserts and 20 cold desserts, of which a total of nine are appropriate for vegans.
Howell added, “More people are increasingly turning to a vegetarian diet, with meat- free dishes regularly being requested within the NHS.
“Our existing vegetarian range includes dishes inspired by international cuisines including popular Italian-style meals such as mushroom and leek pasta bake and QuornTM tomato pasta, as well as pan-Asian and Indian meals from sweet and sour QuornTM to creamy lentil, tomato and cauliflower daal.”
Anglia Crown also supplies several vegetarian takes on traditional British meals including a cottage pie made with QuornTM and cheesy mash, a vegetable casserole with dumpling and a vegetable hot pot.
The company works with more than 100 sites, either directly with each NHS Trust or via partner suppliers such as facility management companies or contract caterers.
Anglia Crown has a number of products registered with the Vegan Society.