According to online cooking resource Chef’s Pencil, Brighton and Hove has been named the new global vegan hotspots for the first time.

Move over Portland, Oregon… there’s a new vegan capital of the world. Online cooking resource Chef’s Pencil named the small and relatively unknown UK city vegan capital of the world over other contenders.

This marks the first time that Chef’s Pencil has not named Portland or Bristol, UK as the vegan capital, and Brighton and Hove reportedly beat out other top contenders such as Seattle, Washington in the U.S. and Berlin in Germany.

Why Brighton and Hove? According to Plant Based News, this city has more than 240 vegan- and vegetarian-friendly restaurants, including popular spots for plant-based pizza and even sushi.

The data showed a recent drop in vegan-related searches after years of growth, but sales of plant-based foods have still been increasing. Chef’s Pencil researchers believe this is due to growing interest in flexitarianism, an adaptable diet that reduces overall meat intake in favor of more plant-based foods without eliminating animal products entirely.

“As flexitarianism becomes more mainstream, with 40% of European meat eaters planning to eat less meat, it’s no longer only vegans and vegetarians who are recognizing that every meal is an opportunity to eat more sustainably,” said Carlotte Lucas, corporate engagement manager at the Good Food Institute Europe.

Chef’s Pencil relies on data from Google Trends to determine vegan trends around the world, and searches showed the highest interest in veganism in Brighton and Hove. Researchers from Chef’s Pencil also found that the UK was leading the world as the most popular country for vegans, followed by Germany, Austria, New Zealand and Australia. The U.S. landed in the eleventh spot on the list.

It’s no surprise that the UK tops the charts, as many restaurants, even major fast food chains, are offering a growing amount of vegan items on their menus. Consumers can also find vegan options at every grocery store in the country.

“The amount of choice these days is mouth-watering,” said Derek Sarno, head of plant-based food innovation at the UK’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, as reported by Plant Based News. “Almost every category within supermarkets now has plant-based options, making it easier than ever for those considering or switching to embracing more meat-free days of the week.”

Original source: https://www.ecowatch.com