Veganism gains prominence


Photographer: Liam

Ella Robnett, Staff Reporter

In 2018, veganism was identified as a major food industry trend, and recently, it has
been common to see more restaurants incorporating plant-based options on their menus. This
is no surprise, since there has been a veganism boom in the U.S. by 600% in the last 3 years.
Many local restaurants and even some fast food chains have hopped on the plant-based food
bandwagon and they’ve been extremely successful in doing it.

A non-vegan American may not go out of their way to find vegan options, but that
doesn’t mean that they aren’t open to giving plant-based options a try. Many restaurants have
began to include vegan substitutes on their menus. Grateful Gardens, a local restaurant, caters
to vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, and they have been extremely successful due to this
inclusivity. Plant-based food is more than lettuce, and Grateful Gardens proves this. They have
vegan options ranging from waffles to nachos. Grateful Gardens opened in March 2013, but
now they have expanded to 4 locations. It’s clear that plant-based food is widely enjoyed, and it
even boosts the growth of restaurants.

Big fast food chains have not missed out on the new plant-based trend. Shortly after
Burger King launched their new vegan impossible whopper, it became a staple on their menu.

Restaurant Brands International Inc reported that Burger King’s overall third quarter analysis
showed a 10% increase of earnings after the impossible whopper was launched. Burger King
Restaurants that have been open a year or longer also showed a rise in sales of 5%, which is the
company’s strongest growth since 2015. Fast food chains that had not included a staple vegan
option at the time of Burger King’s impossible whopper launch showed a sharp decrease in sale
numbers. McDonalds, who has yet to include a plant-based option reportedly showed a
slowdown in growth.

With plant-based options showing big success, it is a clear that restaurants benefit by
including more vegan options. Not only do vegans enjoy plant-based options, but non-vegans
do as well. Analysts even predict that by 2040, vegan alternatives such as the impossible
whopper will make up more than 60% of the world’s meat. Restaurants that do not already
have plant-based options are missing out on success. When companies fail to cater to their
consumers, they lose sales. This damage is avoidable, there is never a wrong time for vegan
options to be added to menus. When restaurants include vegan options, they grow, and they
are more successful.