More vegetarian options in restaurants are actually loved by carnivores too, according to new research conducted in dining halls.
The study recently published was conducted in the United Kingdom and it analyzed the sales in three of the cafeterias at the University of Cambridge. Emma Garnett and her colleagues from the same university collected the data on over 94,000 meals sold in those dining halls in 2017. They found that when there are more vegetarian options on the menu, carnivores and vegetarians alike tend to consume less meat.
If the proportion of meatless options went from one to two or four choices, overall sales remained practically constant. At the same time, people tended to buy fewer meat options. They instead went for vegetarian options such as “wild mushroom, roasted butternut squash and sun blushed tomato risotto with parmesan”. The sale rose by a staggering 40-80 percent.
Vegetarian options for all
In case you might think that maybe more people turned vegetarian, you should know that the researchers also looked at who bought the vegetarian dishes. Well, it's surprising but true. The increases in plant-based eating were the largest among the people who had the lowest average rate of vegetarian meal consumption.
Did the meals of the day influence this in any way? Researchers didn't find any evidence that people who ate a vegetarian lunch went on to eat a more carnivorous dinner. That's because higher sales of vegetarian dishes at lunch didn't lead to lower vegetarian sales at dinner.
The scientists did note that beyond the more vegetarian options, there were other variables that might influence the dining choices, including relative prices of the options, and the outdoor temperature.
The authors of the study suggest that consumers could be encouraged to have less meat if they have more vegetarian options available in the future. An important thing to do because of the danger meat products pose to climate change.
If you need more vegetarian options for your meals, we have quite the selection for you!
Featured image by RD LH from Pixabay