When you consider fast food franchises like KFC, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, In and Out, Shake Shack and the rest, ethical and health conscious foods aren’t exactly what patrons have in mind.
Fast food companies thriven on our weakness for fat, sugar and salt. They know what we crave, when we crave it, and how to make it as mouth-wateringly delicious and cheap as possible. That’s why the drive-thru, 24-hour model where you can get fat-soaked chips and nuggets at any hour of the night has been so successful. But has the market shifted? Are fast food addicts ready for a paradigm shift? And are these companies looking to change their ways?
Led by Beyond and Impossible, meat ‘equivalents’ have exploded on the US scene, dramatically increasing shelf space. Fast food with a conscience is did not exist until very recently, but has since exploded onto the fast food scene. .Almost overnight nearly all of the fast food chains are introducing meatless burgers and tacos into their menu’s.
The plant-based movement has been growing for some time now, and with the massive consumer demand that has followed it, fast food chains are beginning to catch on. McDonald’s have a Beyond burger as do Carl’s Junior, Burger King, Del Taco have Beyond burrito’s and taco’s and Taco Bell have introduced meatless fare. KFC Vietnam, Canada and the UK have vegan chicken burger and this recent expansion is yet another indication of how far reaching this trend is.
The food industry is clearly ready for a shake-up for the better. We’ve already got vegan Cornettos, vegan Magnums, all vegan pubs, vegan cheese, vegan tuna and vegan makeup. And with a new vegan company popping up almost every week, plant-based stocks are truly becoming the savvy investor’s playground.
World-leading vegan mock-meat brand, Beyond Meat, debut on Wall Street at $25 each and are now $170 two months later. With the company now valued at $8.3 billion, they’re now planning to use the funds to continue their expansion across the globe. Already the company has expanded in the UK, and in Australia, with the burgers being rolled out across chain stores like Grill’d and Lord of the Fries to meet the overwhelming demand.
According to research conducted by the Vegan Society, the number of vegans by nearly 500% since 2006. And according to data research firm Neilson, the market is reflecting that growth. In the US, supermarket sales of meat alternatives surged 19.2% to $US878 million for the year ended January. The US meat substitute market is worth about $1.44 billion and by 2023, the market is expected to grow 74% to $2.5 billion.
We’re talking about a complete revolution in the way humans produce and consume food. Of course, because it is expanding rapidly doesn’t mean it is good for you. Beyond Burgers have 22 ingredients, several of which are carcinogens. Most people who buy Beyond burgers also order French fries…Ooops.
I decided that becoming a vegetarian was a missed steak