August isn’t even halfway over, but Waitrose already has festive food in mind. On Thursday, the leading supermarket chain unveiled its vegan Christmas menu.
For canapés, there are vegan pâtés in two flavors: butternut, pumpkin seed, and pine nut with tomato and chilli chutney, or mushroom and chestnut with red onion and balsamic chutney. Other options include pitta filled with shawarma-spiced shredded king oyster mushrooms with chickpeas and Moroccan tagine sauce as well as mini beet wellingtons wrapped in flaky puff pastry.
For dinner, there’s a crowd-pleasing Festive Ring — a wreath of vegan apple and cranberry bangers with a fruity stuffing and parsley crumb center. The meatless bangers are available on their own as well, for vegan pigs-in-a-blanket. The show-stopping Vegan Root En Croute features latticed puff pastry crust stuffed with roasted, marinated carrots and a creamy spinach sauce.
Dessert hasn’t been forgotten — there are two choices. A gelatin-free, ruby-colored elderflower, raspberry, and blackcurrant jelly or a vegan iced fruit cake made by Leicester-based bakery Fiona Cairns.
Vegan at Waitrose
Waitrose stocks its shelves with vegan food all year long, featuring well-known brands like Quorn, Linda McCartney, Violife, and its popular own-brand.
The supermarket chain’s vegan and vegetarian food sales were strong last October, up 85 percent from 2017. Waitrose expanded its private label range with 29 new vegan products later that month due to consumer requests, according to Chloe Graves, vegan and vegetarian buyer at Waitrose. The supermarket chain launched a batch of 14 new plant-based products earlier this year, which increased vegan and vegetarian sales 110 percent in one week.
“We’re excited to be a part of growing demand for vegan products and lead the way in creating, developing and supplying innovative ranges that delight customers,” Graves said in a statement.
Vegan Christmas in Summer
Waitrose isn’t the only UK supermarket to preview its Christmas range. Tesco revealed its festive menu featuring Wicked Kitchen meatless turkey wraps, stuffed butternut squash, and vegan chocolate torte. Asda has vegan chickpea wellington and a golden chocolate dessert planned, and Aldi unveiled its meat-free duck and wellington.
Waitrose’s vegan Christmas range launches later this year in time for the festive season.