A new report on the State of Plant-Based Food Service shows “explosive” growth of plant-based foods in US restaurants, a 62% increase over the last ten years, according to the Plant-Based Foods Association and Datassential. Additionally, plant-based foods can now be found in 48.4% of US restaurants.
Consumer behavior changing for health, climate, environmental group says
“The study’s key findings show that consumer behavior is evolving for people’s own health and we know that plant-based foods are being used as medicine in New York hospitals and in California, but importantly, they are also better for our climate,” said Jane DeMarines, Executive Director of Sustainable Earth Eating (SEE). SEE is a non-profit that promotes awareness of the impact of animal agriculture on health of individuals and the planet.
Key findings of the study:
- Almost one-third of the US population shows a strong affinity for plant-based food. This figure skews toward women, younger consumers, Asian and Black ethnicities, and fast casual customers.
- Compared to other restaurant types, fast-casual establishments are most likely to offer plant-based options, while fine dining is the least likely.
- The popularity of non-dairy alternatives has skyrocketed across all segments, and is especially strong in health-conscious fast-casual restaurants.
“Climate change is happening faster than originally thought. The production of livestock and the food to feed them is a major cause of deforestation and contributes 57% of global greenhouse gas emissions,” said DeMarines. “Reducing how much meat we eat is the most impactful change humans can make.”
Just last week a massive portion of an Anartican glacier peeled off into the warming sea, which scientists say will result in global sea rise, and scientists have listed multiple countries and including more than a few Midwest states that will be uninhabitable by the end of the decade, DeMarines said.
DeMarines added, “A key aspect of this positive news is that restaurants are reacting to consumer desires for food. Another aspect is of course, plant-based foods taste good and the innovation in the burgeoning industry is showing the way for consumers–that being plant-based does not mean you are missing out on taste–or food choice–you can get a great burger–made from plants, and even the cheese is made from plants.”
“More consumers are realizing we don’t have to deprive ourselves of taste or choice,” she added.
About Sustainable Earth Eating (SEE)
Sustainable Earth Eating engages in outreach, advocacy, and educational initiatives to provide accurate information on the outsized contribution of animal agriculture to climate change. SEE engages in multiple activities to provide information to the public, including a monthly newsletter, “Food is Climate,” a “Climate Wednesday,” a weekly release to media with data on the intersection between climate and food, online cooking shows with plant-based recipes, vegan events, interface with environmental journalists, celebrity Vegan interviews and other resources. Additional resources are available at www.sustainableeartheating.org.