Frozen food distributor Central Foods has revealed a huge increase in demand from foodservice operators for vegetarian and vegan sausages.

With National Vegetarian Week running from 14th to 20th May, the company has reported that sales of Linda McCartney vegetarian and vegan sausages leapt by almost 20% from 2016 to the end of 2017.

If laid end-to-end, all the veggie sausages sold during 2017 would stretch 15,000 times the height of Nelson’s Column.

“Demand for meat-free products has been increasing for some time,” said Gordon Lauder, MD of frozen food distributor Central Foods. “A recent study released by suggests that more than 3.5 million British people now identify as being vegan, which is a big increase since 2016 when The Vegan Society revealed there were approximately 540,000 vegans over the age of 15 living in Britain. Part of the increase in sales of veggie sausages can be attributed to the rise in the number of vegans in the UK.

“However, the Linda McCartney veggie sausages are also very popular with consumers who aren’t vegetarians or vegans. The sausages are really tasty, hold their shape well during cooking, and whilst being held hot under warming lights on a servery. They appeal to flexitarians and meat-eaters, as well as those who choose a plant-based diet.

“They are also versatile and can be used for different meal occasions throughout the day. Market research company Kantar Worldpanel found that more than a quarter and almost a third of the evening meals consumed in the UK during January 2018 were vegetarian or vegan. Breakfast is currently the fastest growing meal occasion, however, and it seems that veggie sausages are also taking pride of place in many a cooked breakfast served up by foodservice professionals across the UK, as well as at other times of the day.”

The Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages, made with rehydrated textured soya protein, carry The Vegetarian Society Approved vegan trademark. They are available to foodservice exclusively via Central Foods and its wholesale customers.

They are part of a range of Linda McCartney products available through Northamptonshire-based Central Foods, which also includes VegeMince, veggie burgers, veggie sausage rolls and veggie meatballs.

“National Vegetarian Week 2018 runs from 14-20 May and it’s all about eating delicious and exciting veggie food,” added Gordon. “The Linda McCartney sausages are the perfect ingredient for foodservice professionals to serve up during this special week, and also to have on their menus all year round. Our latest statistics show how well they go down with consumers in foodservice outlets.”

Central Foods has been supplying frozen food to the foodservice sector for more than 21 years. It currently supplies more than 220 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers, and foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry including schools, universities, pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, leisure centres, garden centres, care homes and many other outlets.

Offering a one-stop shop to the foodservice sector, Central Foods sources products from around the world and the UK, supplying more than 400 different lines, ranging from vegetarian and free-from items, bakery items and canapés through to buffet products, desserts and puddings.

For more information about Central Foods, visit