I recently read a fascinating blog on the Huffington Post website, by Nil Zacharias, Co-founder of One Green Planet, relating to a new survey commissioned by The Vegetarian Resource Group, the non-profit group dedicated to vegetarian and vegan education and publishers of the Vegetarian Journal.
The VRG commissioned Harris Interactive to carry out a telephone poll that asked vegetarians, vegans and people interested in vegetarian meals a range of questions about their dietary choices. The results it serves up are very interesting…
A brief summary reveals:
- Around half of those asked, would eat veggie burgers cooked on a cleaned grill where meat is also cooked. The main issue here seems to be that vegetarians and vegans want to be able to make their own choices and, as the results show, some vegetarians are prepared to be flexible and work with food outlets, as long as they are fully informed about how their food is prepared and cooked.
- The inclusion of more vegan sandwich choices in food outlets would be very welcome. I think this goes without saying!
- Vegetarians and vegans want clear labeling on food products to make it easier for them to make informed choices about the foods they purchase. This relates to the question “Would (you) purchase your favorite dessert containing sugar, if the source of the sugar isn’t specified?” Most vegetarians and vegans surveyed wouldn’t.
- A high number of participants want to see more leafy green vegetables included in vegetarian food options – suggesting that meat substitute meals aren’t the only way for restaurants and food manufacturers to go. Similarly, 80% of the vegans surveyed were looking for more dishes containing lentils, chickpeas and rice. The VRG concludes that vegans “appear to be looking for healthier meals”.
- Almost no one surveyed, vegan, vegetarian or meat-eater, was interested in eating lab-grown meat. No surprises there then!
The market for vegetarian and vegan food choices is certainly growing and, as mentioned in an earlier blog entry ‘Vegetarians and vegans fuel the meat-free market’, it’s not just vegans and vegetarians accelerating this growth. Non-vegetarians, along with vegetarians and vegans, are hungry for more meatless or plant-based food choices too.
Zacharias ends his blog by saying:
As the market for vegan food grows and matures, along with overall awareness around health, animal welfare, food safety and environmental concerns, these consumption trends are likely to change over time. It’s going to be fascinating to watch this space develop as the U.S. goes through a large-scale shift to more plant-based food options.”