Think about it. Much of the world is moving towards plant-based eating. What was once a religious choice, vegetarianism is now seen as a way to save the planet. Fewer livestock farms means less greenhouse gas emissions, protecting the earth’s water supplies and providing better food security.
According to a 2016 study published in the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, consuming a low-meat, high plant diet could save up to 8 million lives per year and reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds by 2050.
There are also many health benefits from eating only vegetables, grains and fruits. A 2013 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that vegetarians had a 12% lower risk of death compared with non-vegetarians
In 2016, the Chinese government released new dietary guidelines to encourage its 1.3 billion citizens to reduce their meat consumption by 50%.
Celebrities have also embraced the meatless lifestyle and restaurants can benefit from this by doing some celebrity name-dropping. Athletes, from bodybuilders to tennis stars to rugby giants, are proponents of a vegetarian diet and they’ve busted the myth that you need to eat meat to pack on the muscles
Look at tennis superstar Venus Williams and American football quarterback Tom Brady – they consume a plant-based diet and are at the top of their game. In fact, Tom is so passionate about plant-based eating he launched Purple Carrot, a home delivery service offering nutritious, plant-based meal kits.
It’s also becoming easier to source for raw vegetarian food as there are now more plant-based “meat” products found in local markets. You even find them in the many vegetarian “chap fan” stalls. Mushroom- or soy-based “chicken”, “fish” and “mutton” are a firm favourite even among omnivores.
If you want to stand out, your chefs have to be inventive with the menu. The challenge will be to create innovative recipes using new ingredients. Don’t be afraid to experiment with taste and texture either.
Marketing has never been easier thanks to social media. Embrace and tap into the millennial mindset. Look at Instagram and search the hashtag #vegetarian. Millennials embracing the vegan or vegetarian have also been announcing and documenting their new lifestyles on social media.
It’s only a matter of time Malaysia may see the opening of a fast-food vegetarian restaurant like Veggie Grill and Power Plant Fast Food in the US.
Don’t think that going plant-based has to be an all-or-nothing approach. F&B joints can try marketing Meatless Mondays on their menus. After all, a person doesn’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy vegetarian food and a restaurant doesn’t have to be completely meatless to attract vege only patrons.
MIFB is the largest Food and Beverage Focused Trade event in the country which offers a platform for businesses from the industry to showcase their products and services at an international level. If you are looking to introduce, exchange, and learn about the latest innovation and technologies from around the world then MIFB is the place to be.