VANCOUVER, April 13, 2023 – The majority of British Columbians in the Lower Mainland have positive feelings about plant-based menu options, new polling data reveals.
The research poll, commissioned by the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) among a representative sample of Lower Mainland residents from the Angus Reid Forum, asked participants about their dietary preferences and attitudes around plant-based eating.
73% of respondents agreed that “Food services that offer a greater variety of plant-based options are more inclusive to all”. This sentiment was shared by a majority of people regardless of their own dietary preferences; 95% of vegans or vegetarians and 71% of people following other diets agreed with the statement.
The poll results demonstrate that the demand for plant-based options is growing, with 65% of respondents having reduced their consumption of animal products.
Differences between age demographics indicate a growing shift toward plant-based foods over each generation – 69% of respondents aged 18-34 had reduced their animal product consumption, compared to 66% of respondents aged 35-54 and 60% of respondents aged 55+.
“A growing number of consumers are reducing or eliminating animal-based products, with more people turning to plant-based options when they are available,” said VHS Communications Director Chantelle Archambault.
Businesses and organizations are already moving to meet the growing demand for plant-forward foods. Many institutions that now offer plant-based menu items, such as Panago Pizza and the University of British Columbia (UBC), cite sustainability commitments as one motivation for the shift.
“There are so many great reasons to shift towards a more plant-based diet but for us at UBC Food Services we have done this to support the health of our students and the planet,” said David Speight, Executive Chef and Culinary Director of UBC Food Services. “We know that plant-based diets can provide excellent health benefits for our students and they reduce the negative environmental impacts on our planet compared to more animal protein centric diets.”
Other local businesses and institutions are stepping up to meet consumer demand as well. Last year, the City of Vancouver committed to exploring a 20% reduction in animal-based products in favour of plant-based foods in their municipal food purchasing, such as through catering and city-owned concessions.
The new polling data suggests that this growing movement toward accessible, affordable, and tasty plant-based options could prompt a greater dietary shift in the future. 65% of respondents identified that they “would eat more plant-based meals if there were more tasty options available when going out to eat”.
Speight added, “We have shifted a large percentage of our menu offerings to plant-based and our students are still asking for more. It shows a real hunger for great tasting plant-based offerings.”
“With the public increasingly interested in plant-forward food items and calling for corporate responsibility, we’re eager to see more businesses and organizations introduce plant-based options in the coming years to avoid being left behind,” said Archambault.
This shift has the important added benefit of reducing the number of animals suffering for human food production.
The VHS is offering free support to B.C.-based institutions, such as restaurants, long-term care homes, and schools, that are interesting in introducing more plant-based menu items.
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SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society
For more information, contact Chantelle Archambault: 604-416-2903, email@example.com
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