‘Plant-based‘ and ‘vegan’ labels may be deterring UK diners from choosing planet-friendly food, according to new research…
‘Plant-based’ and ‘vegan’ labels are allegedly putting customers off ordering greener options.
A new poll commissioned by dairy-free cheesemaker Julienne Bruno, surveyed 2,007 adults with varying dietary requirements.
It found that almost half of UK diners (45 percent) would order more planet-friendly food if the ingredients were listed instead of being labelled as ‘vegan’ or ‘plant-based’.
This included two fifths of meat eaters, over half of pescatarians (55 percent) and even vegans themselves (54 percent).
More than two in five also admitted to disliking the term ‘plant-based’, while 32 percent shared similar views towards the label ‘vegan’.
Taste and quality of food was identified as a strong factor, with one in three meat eaters and pescatarians saying they would leave a rest aunt if there are no good plant-based options.
In sustainability terms, 42 percent of participants want restaurants to show brands on their menus – with over a quarter saying they would order greener options if a brand is featured.
More than two in five also admitted to disliking the term 'plant-based', while 32 percent shared similar views towards the label 'vegan'. Photo © Mara Louvain via Adobe Stock
‘Unique selling point’
In a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, he argued such labels are not a ‘unique selling point’ of a product.
“The research indicates diners want their food to be original, taste good and offer quality produce regardless of whether it’s vegan,” Katalan added.
“Along with including trusted brand items on menus, this could be key to getting more diners to eat more sustainably very easily.
“With vegans even being put off vegan labelling… I think it’s time for a shift in how we talk about and label food.”
Plant-based and vegan labels
A recent study published in the journal Apetite yielded similar results.
Researchers analysed a group of US students attending a catered event – with only two food options available.
Participants could opt for a hummus wrap, which contained no animal-products, or a Greek salad containing dairy.
They had to order their meal via an online form. For some students, the two dishes were labelled as ‘vegan’ or ‘non-vegan’, while others had a menu free-from any labels.
Experts concluded that when students saw the ‘vegan’ label, they were significantly less likely to choose that option. However, people often preferred the vegan option when it wasn’t labelled as ‘vegan’.
“The results suggest removing vegetarian and vegan labels from menus could help guide US consumers towards reduced consumption of animal products,” the study states.
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Featured image © ChayTee via Adobe Stock