This article was originally posted on Creative Compass.
A new study testing the effects of 10 different menu descriptions on 6,000 different people’s meal choices has proved that certain messages can more than double the sales of meat-free meals.
Researchers tested responses to sustainability-themed messages when participants were asked to choose either a bean burrito or a beef burrito.
Diners who read “Each of us can make a positive difference for the planet. Swapping just one meat dish for a plant-based one saves greenhouse gas emissions that are equivalent to the energy used to charge your phone for two years. Your small change can make a big difference” on their menus chose the bean burrito 25% of the time, more than double the rate of diners who were shown no message at all.
Another message – “90% of Americans are making the change to eat less meat. Join this growing movement and choose plant-based dishes that have less impact on the climate and are kinder to the planet” – prompted 22% of people to opt for a plant-based dish, again far higher than the standard group.
Other messages about the taste of the food and the need to protect the planet for future generations were also successful in getting people to choose plant-based.
Here are 5 key points you can apply to the marketing of your vegan restaurant today:
Emphasise the power of individual choices. When people feel overwhelmed by the scale of a global problem, it’s easy for them to feel like their choices don’t matter and therefore be unwilling to change them. Remind them that their choices do matter.
Emphasise the environmental benefits of plant-based meals. These messages are proven to be effective in influencing meal choices, especially amongst younger audience.
Emphasise that eating more plant-based meals is becoming a social norm. The biggest predictor of behavioural change is shifting social norms. Emphasise the number of people like you customer who are choose vegan options and highlight celebrity vegans that your consumers look up to.
Emphasise that plant-based meals taste great. Use words like “smoky” and “creamy” that highlight the flavours of the meal. Words describing the origin of the food work well too.
Emphasise the need to protect the planet for future generations. This works particularly well for parents and older adults.
BONUS TIP: Getting your product certified as vegan by an independent third party certifier is another great way to boost your sales!
BeVeg is the world’s leading Vegan certification company, ISO accredited and recognized by the world accreditation forum for its internationally accredited Vegan standard.