DOING IT FOR THE PLANET
The production of food is a big contributor to the climate crisis - resulting in a third of all greenhouse gases. Looking at the meat industry itself, it’s responsible for nearly sixty percent of all greenhouse gases from food production alone. For Gen Z, who are driven to positively impact the climate crisis, there is a palpable shift in attitudes towards how we eat. Seventy-nine percent of young people, according to YPULSE, have been choosing to go meatless once or twice a week.
Young people are tackling the climate crisis head-on, so it is no surprise that forty-one percent of Gen Z feel that the climate crisis is the single most important issue facing the planet. Looking more closely at why young people are choosing to change their diets - we see a combined positive impact of cutting out meat and switching to plant-based foods at play. Plant-powered foods generally take less land and resources to farm, produce significantly less methane than dairy herds and are more ethically conscious to both animals and humans in the process. Even Billie Eilish says that her choice of being vegan for the past seven years was influenced by learning more about the impact of the meat and dairy industry.
FILLING THE ALGORITHM
Sparked by calendar occasions like Veganuary (with 500,000 people signing up in 2021) young people have been sharing their approach to switching to plant based diets and lifestyles, from a wellness perspective and focusing on staying fit (physically and mentally) and having diets which help them feel strong and happy. On Instagram, #vegan has been used over 100 million times and on TikTok, searches for ‘vegan junk food’ has nine million views and ‘vegan desserts’ has been viewed over twenty-nine million times, according to Plant-Based News.
Identifying as vegan or vegetarian on social media and showing what you stand for is an important communication code, reinforcing individuals’ value systems and the priority they place on taking a stand for animal rights and the planet. When Ru Paul Drag Race UK star Bimini Bon Boulash walked onto the show, their first line on the show let everyone know where they stand on plant-based food.
“I’m vegan.” Bimini Bon Boulash
VEGAN INFLUENCERS CHANGING THE NARRATIVE
With all the noise surrounding veganism, there is a whole new category of influencer; the vegan influencer. These creators are taking vegan content to the next level and increasing reach across the internet. There is a huge category of wellness influencer focusing on being plant-based for dietary reasons. While the wellness universe of Goop life is often paired with being vegan, Lucie Johnson, creator of @uglyvegan Instagram account, is challenging that. She wanted it to show how you can eat vegan and it can be accessible to all.
”I was vegan for my health and for the environment but I was eating food that was “normal”
and ugly so I contradicted these pages with my most explicit creations and captions. I try my very best to prove that veganism doesn’t have to be a preachy members club. I believe that I can help promote eating vegan food by showing that it’s accessible and inclusive to all.” Lucie Johnson
BRANDS AND BUSINESSES TIPPING THE BALANCE IN THE ‘V’ DIRECTION
Netflix’s 75-minute documentary, Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet highlights “change our diets and the way we farm food” as a top priority action to ensure a “”. The food and drinks brands and businesses that are leading the way in helping us change how we eat are those that are in service of our planet and its people.
We can see this with Wagamama’s most recent campaign Vegemama, pledging to offer 50% plant-based options in all their locations. Worldwide there are brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat leading the way for plant-based meat in a segment that is set to grow to $23.4 billion by 2024. To facilitate meeting more customers these brands are showing up in McDonalds, BurgerKing and more, offering a lower price option. If you’re not directly in the world of food and drink manufacturing, you can indirectly get on the V-train through how you show up. A switch to vegetarian or vegan catering on set or at brand events is a simple and easy action that can have immediate positive impact. Recently Thinkhouse worked with the Saucy Cow, an Irish vegan junk food company, proving to be a huge hit with all the attendees.
"At all brand launch events, we're bringing in more vegan and veggie options which are proving to be even more popular than meat options. Recently we enlisted the help of the Saucy Cow and their food was lapped up with huge queues. People are seeking out something exciting." Laura Wall, Group Account Director PR & Advocacy THINKHOUSE
Start the Change today: All of us working in the wider field of marketing, comms, sales and innovations all have one thing in common - we eat and drink! Let’s do so with positive intent, starting with ourselves first. Dinner tonight? Check out our fav Rachel Ama. And bring that energy to what we do with brands, initiatives, new products and innovation as we plan, execute and measure better.
Measure Your Impact: Recently AdGreen launched their AdGreen Carbon Calculator where it is possible to assess the impact of productions so you can learn what changes you can make (including switching up catering) and how these changes can reduce the carbon impact of creative productions.
Embrace the V-Stars: Consider who you are partnering with in terms of creators and talent. There is a wealth of vegan and vegetarian influencers who are creating content that Gen Z are engaging with, like everyone’s Internet Mom Tabitha Brown. On top of this, as we talked about in our 52INSIGHTS last week, working with creators who are taking a stand on issues, like Billie Eilish producing a vegan sneaker option, can open up the brand to a growing Gen Z segment.