Veganism is taking the food industry by storm. Consumer interest in plant-based eating is rapidly growing. Vegan options create opportunities for businesses in the food industry. Within the U.S. alone, the amount of individuals who identify as vegan has increased by 600% over just three years. According to The Vegan Society, the number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2019 to 600,000 vegans.
There has been a boom in plant-based menu options in restaurants and fast-food chains across the world. Big chains like Burger King, McDonald's, Taco Bell, KFC have started offering exciting plant-based dishes incorporating revolutionary meatless "meat" products from companies like Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, Quorn. Could the fast-growing vegan industry offer a healthy cash flow for your business? Read on to find out why you ought to serve vegan options on your menu.
1. Boost your sales!
Vegan cuisine needn't be an upscale affair. Many ingredients that substitute for meat, eggs and dairy products are actually cheaper or priced similarly. Plus, meat prices are expected to continue rising. Reducing meat purchases and increasing meat-free fare can help save your dining operation a ton of money.
According to Forbes, out of 22 restaurants surveyed that made the switch to 100 percent vegan menus, the 17 that responded reported increased sales—and some saw sales surge by as much as 1,000 percent. The eateries also reported an increase in social media followings—some as much as 15,000 percent. Many also saw a decrease in food costs.
2. It's an emerging market.
Photo from data article @abillion
From 2019 to 2025, the alternative meat market is anticipated to expand by 15% on an annual growth rate (CAGR) basis to reach US$28 billion. This will significantly outpace the 3.4% CAGR predicted for the real meat market from 2019 to 2026.
The global market for milk alternatives reached USD $5.8 billion in 2014 and should reach nearly $10.9 billion by 2019, reflecting a five-year annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3%. According to our data report, consumers are holding businesses accountable to governance standards and are choosing to vote with their wallets. For example, 73% of global consumers are likely to change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment, and 57% of them would boycott a brand that doesn't share their social and ethical values.
3. Group bookings
When eating out in groups, people try to find a restaurant where all their friends will have options. With veganism becoming more popular, vegans can veto the restaurant that the group goes to. The whole group skips your restaurant if you don't offer awesome vegan. If you don’t have awesome vegan options, the whole group will be skipping your restaurant! With plenty of vegan options, customers will perceive you as a more inclusive restaurant. You’ll also appeal to a broader market: vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, environmentally, health-conscious consumers, and those who are curious and simply looking for an alternative dining experience.
4. Offer allergy-friendly or health-based eating restrictions.
Did you know that nearly 65% of the human population are intolerant to lactose in dairy? Egg and dairy allergies also are common. When choosing a restaurant, consumers look at options that align with their health preferences.
Vegan dishes are cholesterol-free and contain lower fat. So, they're appealing to those with high cholesterol or heart problems.
5. Customers feel healthier.
A study indicates the percentage of consumers who see health benefits when consuming plant-based foods. Many people who are not vegan are trying to reduce their meat, dairy, and egg consumption due to the increasing evidence that it's harmful to health. Almost every lifestyle disease can be connected to animal ingredients. According to a survey of the American Dietetic Association in September 2012, 87% of dietitians recommend a plant-based diet to some or most of their patients and 70% of those dietitians say that a plant-based diet is nutrient-rich. Having more options will widen your appeal! People tend to return to restaurants if they feel good afterward and feel satisfied by the meal. These positive associations can result in recommendations too! After all, health is wealth!
6. Veganism is trendy and growing!
Photo by @abillion