Luxembourg's love affair with meat is slowly changing
By John Monaghan and Patrick Jacquemot
Restaurants and supermarkets aimed at vegetarians and vegans are on the rise in Luxembourg, catering to an ever-expanding market in the country.
While still a nation of meat lovers, the Grand Duchy’s habits are slowly changing.
Pit Weber, who runs the vegan restaurant chain Beet, has been a vegetarian since the age of 13. In the more than two decades since he opted to stop eating meat, around 4% of Luxembourgers have followed suit.
Eschewing meat has become the “new normal”, says Weber. “Anyone who has ever eaten spaghetti in tomato sauce has already eaten vegan,” he adds.
Across Europe, the size of the vegan market has grown by almost 50% in two years – representing sales of €3.6 billion - according to research by the EU-funded Smart Protein project and campaign group ProVeg International.
From very limited options just a decade ago, there are now a total of eleven restaurants in Luxembourg City that specifically target the market, with four pure vegetarian outlets and seven exclusively for vegans.
While the Venga store in Luxembourg City remains the only shop to offer exclusively vegan products, major supermarkets including Lidl and Aldi have also diversified their selection in recent years.
Aldi Luxembourg has around 50 vegan or vegetarian items for sale, with the range increasing by 30% last year due to increased demand during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to a spokesperson for the supermarket.
Even outlets famed for their offerings of burgers and chips – such as the Eirelux Irish pub and restaurant in Howald - are seeing an increase in vegetarian requests. “They represent 30% of orders,” says Eirelux owner Vincent Clark.
Additional reporting by Marlene Brey