Dining trends 2014: more intolerances, fewer vegetarians

The number of diners ordering vegetarian or nut-free dishes has fallen in 2014

The number of diners reporting lactose or gluten intolerance has risen in 2014, while the number of diners ordering vegetarian or nut-free dishes has fallen, according to data collected by food pre-ordering service TellTheChef.

The data was collected from the 1.7m dishes ordered through TellTheChef, a service which helps restaurants to process group bookings and pre-orders.

It showed that this year there was a 53 per cent growth in pre-orders to restaurants where dietary requirements were identified. Gluten-free orders were up 12.8 per cent, while lactose-free orders rose by just over 7 per cent.

However, the number of guests ordering vegetarian dishes fell by 4.3 per cent. There were also fewer ‘no nuts’ orders (a decrease of 5.9 per cent) and fewer ‘no pork’ orders (a decrease of 9.3 per cent).

Founder and chief executive of TellTheChef Andrew Norton said: “Restaurants are already very good at catering for people with food allergies, as our data proves, and it’s no longer just about perceived common allergies such as nuts and shellfish.

“Awareness about gluten and lactose intolerance in particular has grown in recent years, with many establishments now catering for the requirement.”

The news comes shortly after the new EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation legislation came into force. 

Christmas party trends

TellTheChef also released data which showed diners’ satisfaction with meals served during the ‘Christmas party season’ this December, up until Friday 19. The service collected enjoyment ratings from diners on 22,000 dishes served.

The research showed that the traditional options of turkey and Christmas pudding received relatively low feedback scores, with dishes such as chicken and chocolate desserts having been preferred. 

Christmas meal satisfaction scores from diners:

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