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wagamama launches iconic veganuary dish with a special UK food charity partnership

1 million meals to UK charity The Bread and Butter Thing to benefit low income families

wagamama has launched an iconic veganuary dish with a special partnership allowing one million meals to be donated to low income families.Guests at wagamama know that every veganuary they can expect new and exciting plant-based flavours to nourish them.

And this year is no exception as it launches a new vegan take on its much missed iconic kare lomen dish adding a veganuary flourish to the regular menu which is already more than 50 percent plant based. This will be launched alongside the new charity partnership with The Bread and Butter Thing.

The vegan ‘chicken’ kare lomen is udon noodles served in a nourishing bowl of coconut broth with a chilli kick, and topped with vegan teriyaki ‘chicken’, coriander, beansprouts and cucumber. It is a fresh, fragrant and warming bowl available in all wagamama restaurants and on Deliveroo for this veganuary only.

This year the delicious veganuary dish will be served up alongside a campaign of support initiatives to help nourish local communities across the country through a partnership with food charity The Bread and Butter Thing which supports thousands of families in over eighty locations.

Set up in 2016, The Bread and Butter Thing brings low-cost food to low-income communities. Those in need of support pay a fraction of the cost for food, which is sourced direct from manufacturers and retailers. It has over 40,000 members and redistributes to over 5,000 families a week who typically pay £7.50 for £35 worth of groceries.

The partnership with wagamama will involve projects in its restaurants and out in the community. Overall, it will see the restaurant chain provide support for The Bread and Butter Thing to deliver 1 million meals worth of food to low income families who use the charity to receive a more affordable weekly shop, at a time when the nation needs it more than ever.

wagamama has already supplied food and bespoke recipes cards to The Bread And Butter Thing and the £25,000 wagamama donation will pay for forty one truck journeys with each able to carry 426 tonnes of food with each tonne equating to 2380 meals. A grand total of just over a million meals.

Teaming up to champion The Bread and Butter Thing’s Warm Hub initiative, wagamama will also be providing warm and inclusive community spaces in selected restaurants – offering free sides to families facing difficult choices between heating and eating. While its team members will be volunteering to support local projects and its chefs will provide ‘wok it don’t waste it’ demos and advise on how to cook nourishing and affordable meals.

wagamama CEO, Thomas Heier, said:

“At wagamama we believe in the Japanese philosophy of seijaku; finding calm and tranquillity in the midst of activity. In these challenging times it is important that we all continue to nourish ourselves and our communities. Typically, every veganuary we like to surprise and delight our guests with a plant-based showstopper, but we know this veganuary is a little bit different for families across the UK, so it is a privilege this year to support local communities through our newly launched partnership with The Bread and Butter Thing.”

Mark Game, CEO of The Bread and Butter Thing said:

“We’re delighted to be entering this new partnership with wagamama. Its philosophy of nourishment chimes exactly with The Bread and Butter Thing’s work to ensure that people in low income communities can access healthy, nutritious food for their families. By providing both food and funding to support the unseen but vital logistics that go into making The Bread and Butter Thing possible, wagamama will help us deliver over 1 million meals worth of food to our members who are making really difficult decisions between heating and eating, or even keeping a roof over their heads, in the toughest financial crisis of a generation.”

wagamama has always led the way in making delicious plant-based food accessible and full of flavour, being the first multi-site UK restaurant business to offer a vegan menu on the high street.

In the six years following the launch of its vegan menu in October 2017, the proportion of vegan sales has doubled at wagamama. During veganuary 2022 there was a 12% increase in the proportion of vegan sales from the previous month thanks in part to its limited edition exclusive dish the vegan f-ish and chips. This dish was one of the highest selling vegan mains during January 2022 and compared to the previous veganuary exclusive they saw an 144% increase in guest participation.

In October 2021 wagamama made half its menu plant-based with a mission to continue inspiring and empowering Brits to give plants a go, one bowl at a time.

wagamama has made vegan versions of all their most popular dishes, collaborated with vegan chef Gaz Oakley to bring guests the world’s first vegan ‘egg’, turned watermelon into ‘tuna’ and eliminated red meat from their test kitchen menu in Old Street, London.

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