I found an interesting article on LinkedIn by digital marketer – for, among other things, vegan restos – Shadi Khattab titled The Hottest Food Sector: Vegan Food.
He makes a good case for the growth of vegan food, and especially restaurants, and not just in the usual places.
The Vegan food sector has turned into a steam train and the meat and dairy industry and its legions are slowly seeing their worst nightmares playing out. Well sort of. Huge swaths of people aren’t converting to veganism. Not just yet. But the signs that vegan food is beyond the tipping point and set to be a global contender for the hearts, minds and palette wars are clear and unavoidable.
He looks at the success of companies like Cinnaholic and Heidi-Ho Organics on Shark Tank. Native Foods, a vegan restaurant chain with locations in Southern Cal, Oregon, Chicago, Washington, DC, and more, recently secured $15 million in venture capital funding to keep growing. Hopefully to Northern Cal – their menu looks fabulous!
Another restaurant, Real Food Daily has four locations in the Los Angeles area with one in LAX. The LAX location is the first plant-based eatery located in an airport anywhere in the world.
Recently a Veggie Grill opened in one of the trendy open air malls here in Marin and more are opening soon in the Bay Area. They have locations on the West Coast in Washington, Oregon and California. Whenever we visit – more often than I’d like to admit – the place is hopping.
So, perhaps the answer to the question above is YES!
Khattab is looking at veganism as a marketer, and he likes the commitment vegans make to their lifestyle.
Vegans are a committed bunch who network, rally and force the discussion on animal welfare and environmental health as well as any political organization can.
And he sees trouble ahead for the meat industry
Meat industry has seen a huge downturn in their profits. Besides losing share to veggie oriented diets, the meat industry can’t seem to keep its facilities clean causing recalls of tainted meat into a regular activity. In 2013 alone 13,096,784 pounds of meat and poultry were recalled according to the USDA. As the meat industry loses more money and market share they will as they always have, try to push their plants to process meat at faster clips in order to squeeze more profits to make up for losses. This in turn will cause more mistakes and more outbreaks hence more recalls. The cycle unfortunately for them is self-defeating.
All of this is great news for a committed vegan. Khattab ends with this perspective.
Anyone who is friends with a vegan/ vegetarian on social media is given a daily or weekly dose of reality news feeds and tweets on the plights of farm animals, lab animals and circus animals. Social media doesn’t influence those who are staunch meat eaters and abusers, but it does affect those on the fence, the secondary adopters. As more movies, videos, petitions and information is constantly being presented along with viable alternative solutions, it’s hard to think Veganism will ever go back to some outer rim practice unable to affect the overall world it exists in.
I also wanted to share the illustration he used for his article. It is a beautiful drawing by freelance illustrator Roger Olmos. Enjoy!