An Italian restaurant chain has reported a 150% increase in sales of vegan dishes in what it hails as "the rise of the high street vegan".
Zizzi has already sold 30,000 vegan dishes in 2017 as it says diners continue to embrace Veganuary, a month-long campaign aimed at getting more people to try giving up animal products.
The chain, which has branches in Durham, Newcastle and the MetroCentre, plans on adding more vegan dishes to its menu after the success of its existing vegan options, which include pizzas with a dairy-free cheese made from rice.
Jo Fawcett, marketing director for Zizzi, said vegan dishes had once been considered niche, but are now "accepted and enjoyed" up and down the country.
The company launched its vegan menu early last year, with nine vegan dishes and a range of vegan wines. "We are so pleased our vegan menu has been such a hit with diners," said Jo.
"The dishes are so great that we’re seeing people who aren’t even committed vegans choose them.
"Our customers now want more choice and flexibility so we are continuously evolving our menus, including our vegan offering, with more new dishes launching in March”.
Jo said January 2017 is set to be its strongest ever for vegan and vegetarian dishes, with its most popular vegan dishes being vegan rustica margherita pizza, vegan spaghetti pomodoro, and vegan lentil ragu.