Betty introduce vegan afternoon tea to their menu
PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:32 06 June 2019
It's the UK's fastest growing diet and now vegans can enjoy afternoon tea at Bettys.
The number of vegans in the UK has increased four-fold in the last four years, with an estimated 600,000 people now shunning animal products in favour of a plant-based diet. And many more have cut back the amount of meat in their diet, but a vegan diet need not mean you miss out on treats. Bettys catering product development manager, Robert Craggs explains why they have introduced a vegan afternoon tea.
Why a vegan afternoon tea?
There has been a huge increase in the popularity of a plant-based diet, for health and ethical reasons. We had customer feedback too from people who wanted to make changes to their diets but still wanted to be able to come to Bettys. Our Afternoon Tea is a popular experience, especially for celebrations, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy it.
How did you begin to put the idea together, what did it involve? What was the inspiration?
Afternoon tea is a quintessential English offering, and a staple at our café tea rooms across Yorkshire. Our idea was to create a delicious afternoon tea that adhered to a vegan diet and still delighted our guests. Our vegan afternoon tea showcases new products that have been specifically created to offer another option, not only for those on a vegan diet but for anyone who wants something that is different and still delicious.
What are the surprising ingredients, perhaps not necessarily associated with afternoon tea?
Ordinarily butter, milk and eggs are used in the creation of most cakes, but we have been able to develop cakes, by innovating with ingredients, that maintain the characteristics and features of classic cakes but without the animal-based products. For example, including pineapple to help moisten our carrot cake, or replacing milk with soya and oat-based alternatives in our classic scone recipe, and serving these with whipped coconut cream and strawberry preserve.
What makes this afternoon tea different from other vegan afternoon teas?
Our vegan afternoon tea utilises the expertise of 100 years of traditional Yorkshire and Swiss baking tradition. Our new scones, cakes and sandwiches are created at our craft bakery with the skills for which we are famous. Our first priority is to develop delicious products - taste is key. Some of our vegan cakes feature on our non-vegan afternoon tea and I believe this is what makes the Bettys offer different - we can amend the dietary make up of a product without sacrificing the deliciousness.
What's your background? Are you vegan?
I'm not, although I am interested in what this style of eating can mean to us all. The abundance of produce that is available in this county and our country as a whole is world class. It is my responsibility to ensure that as our dietary needs and choices change we can showcase products that are delicious, responsible and considered.
Within the Bettys food team there are vegan colleagues and together, using all our expertise, we have crafted, tasted, and tested our new vegan afternoon tea to ensure that we exceed our customers' needs and expectations.