Vegan Meat Is Appearing on Menus 1,320 Percent More Since Pandemic Began


Maxwell Rabb, The Beet.

September 10, 2021


If you've been noticing more plant-based options on restaurant menus, it's likely because the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated public interest in healthier foods, according to new research. A report from AI platform Tastewise reveals that vegan meat substitutes present a $14 billion opportunity, concluding that plant-based meat is appearing on foodservice menus 1,320 percent more than before the COVID-19 pandemic.


Plant-based popularity is shifting the foodservice sector towards more sustainable and healthier ingredients, in light of both the climate crisis and the pandemic. The trend is occurring across the entire market, marking a significant shift in both restaurant sourcing and consumer demand. The report also found that 9.2 percent of restaurants in the US incorporate vegan meat in their menus. The highest percentage of vegan meat dishes can be found in Oregon, Ohio, Florida, Maryland, New York, and California.


“Responding to the devastating advance in climate change, many companies are working to reduce the significant climate footprint of the animal-farmed meat industry by innovating ways to move away from animal meat,” Tastewise CEO Alon Chen wrote. “This increase in resources devoted to plant-based meat products, combined with consumer demands for real, versatile solutions, results in a timely shift in the way we consume food. We’re looking forward to a healthier, more sustainable world of food and beverage, where we all play a part.”


Restaurants adapted to the rising demand for plant-based foods as consumers become increasingly concerns with the climate crisis. Following the UN IPCC’s “code red” regarding the climate crisis, the impact of animal agriculture has become undeniable. The Tastewise report found that sustainability motivations are increasing 58 percent year on year. Beyond that, the study shows that people are eating plant-based due to the rising concerns around climate change by 83 percent year to year...


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