By Adria Valdes Greenhauff, Editor-at-Large
It’s a great time to be a vegan in America. With more health studies revealing the negative impact of meat consumption on our environment and our bodies, a growing number of consumers are gravitating towards more plant-centric diets — and the restaurant industry is definitely taking notice.
“A vast number of people are seeking to reduce their meat intake, creating a rapidly growing market for all things vegetarian,” Bill Harper, vice president and publisher of Vegetarian Times, explained.
Eric Pierce, director of strategy and insights at New Hope Media seems to agree, telling audience members at the Natural Products Expo West, “the reality is we are beginning to see a lot of opportunity that might not have been obvious at the beginning.” Pierce also believes that most of the shift isn’t coming from vegans themselves, but rather meat-eaters who are cutting back.
Indeed, with everything from plant-based bacon to vegan cheese making its way onto restaurant menus all over the country, there’s no doubt that vegan eats are going mainstream. PETA even dubbed 2016 as the “Year of the Vegan.” What’s more, Foodable Labs data showed 11.2 million plant-based or vegan menu mentions on social media within the last four months, and an impressive 81.24 average food sentiment on vegan menus.
Still, not all vegan options are created equal, and there are a handful of destinations that are quickly becoming known for vegan and vegetarian dining. Let’s take a closer look at what cities reign supreme among plant lovers.Read More