´╗┐For Immediate Release: March 14, 2013
Contacts: John Cunningham (410) 366-8343
Sonja Helman: vrg@vrg.org


SUGAR, VEGAN DELI SLICES, WHOLE FOODS, MEAT GENES...
WHAT WILL VEGANS AND VEGETARIANS EAT?
The Vegetarian Resource Group asks in a national Harris poll


Are people eating less meat seeking to eat whole foods and green leafy
vegetables? Will vegetarians eat veggie burgers cooked on a grill
where meat was cooked? What about growing meat in a test tube? To help
answer some of these questions, The Vegetarian Resource Group wanted
to find out what vegetarians and vegans are thinking. 

The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) commissioned Harris Interactive to
conduct a national telephone poll of a representative sample of 2,030
respondents. This gave the number of vegetarians with a sampling error
of plus or minus two percentage points. VRG then asked the
vegetarians, vegans, and those interested in vegetarian meals:

If you're looking to buy a vegetarian product, you would purchase: 
(Select all that apply.) 

1) Your favorite veggie burger cooked on the same grill where meat is
cooked, if the grill is cleaned first. 
2) A vegetarian vegan deli slice sandwich in Subway. 
3) Your favorite dessert containing sugar, if the source of sugar
isn't specified. 
4) A vegetarian dish containing leafy greens such as broccoli, kale,
or collards. 
5) A vegetarian dish containing whole foods such as lentils,
chickpeas, or rice. 
6) A meat alternative grown from animal cell DNA obtained ten years
ago, which does not currently involve the raising of animals. 

For rest of survey see: 
[ http://www.vrg.org/blog/2012/04/18/sugar-vegan-deli-slices-whole-grains-meat-genes-what-will-vegans-and-vegetarians-eat-vrg-asks-in-a-new-national-harris-poll/ ]

These are the results from the questions asked of those eating one or
more vegetarian meals per week, as well as implication for food
companies, restaurants, health professionals, and food services. 


WOULD PURCHASE A VEGETARIAN DISH CONTAINING LEAFY GREENS SUCH AS
BROCCOLI, KALE, OR COLLARDS
74%    Total
77%    Vegans
72%    All Vegetarians including vegans
70%    Vegetarians not including vegans
75%    All those that eat one or more vegetarian meals per week, not
including vegetarians/vegans

Of note is that about three fourths of all audiences are looking for
healthy greens, as your favorite dietitian and mom suggested. For
restaurants, foodservices, and companies, that are only thinking meat
analogs, producing items with green vegetables should seriously be
taken into consideration. 


WOULD PURCHASE A VEGETARIAN DISH CONTAINING WHOLE FOODS SUCH AS
LENTILS, CHICKPEAS, OR RICE
67%    Total
80%    Vegans
65%    All Vegetarians including vegans
61%    Vegetarians not including vegans
68%    All those that eat one or more vegetarian meals per week, not
including vegetarians/vegans


WOULD PURCHASE YOUR FAVORITE VEGGIE BURGER COOKED ON THE SAME GRILL
WHERE MEAT IS COOKED, IF THE GRILL IS CLEANED FIRST
56%    Total
53%    Vegans
57%    All Vegetarians including vegans
58%    Vegetarians not including vegans
56%    All those that eat one or more vegetarian meals per week, not
including vegetarians/vegans

About half will purchase a veggie burger cooked on the same grill
where meat is cooked, if the grill is cleaned first, and about half
won't. VRG didn't ask if the non-purchasers will eat a veggie burger
if the burger is cooked separately. Since people have different views,
The Vegetarian Resource Group believes this points towards labeling
and disclosure so customers can make their own decisions. Even in
small establishments, it may be possible to meet the needs of some
vegetarians by working together. Various options include a microwave
or separate pan on the grill. Education of food service staff may work
to attract and keep new customers. 


WOULD PURCHASE YOUR FAVORITE DESSERT CONTAINING SUGAR, IF THE SOURCE
OF THE SUGAR ISN'T SPECIFIED
47%    Total
25%    Vegans
37%    All Vegetarians including vegans
40%    Vegetarians not including vegans
49%    All those that eat one or more vegetarian meals per week, not
including vegetarians/vegans

Just over half of the people eating one or more vegetarian meals once
a week are not choosing to buy a dessert if the source of sugar isn't
specified. VRG sees this as a strong case for labeling. Manufacturers,
restaurants, and foodservices should label the source of their sugar
so that consumers can make their own choices. 


WOULD PURCHASE A VEGETARIAN VEGAN DELI SLICE SANDWICH IN SUBWAY
47%    Total
54%    Vegans
54%    All Vegetarians including vegans
54%    Vegetarians not including vegans
47%    All those that eat one or more vegetarian meals per week, not
including vegetarians/vegans

Burger. Burger. Burgers. Many chains and restaurants have added
vegetarian burgers. About a half of those eating vegetarian meals and
thus at least one quarter of the whole population would also buy vegan
deli slices. It makes sense for restaurants and food services offering
veggie burgers to take this next step and add and promote another
convenient sandwich product. 


WOULD PURCHASE A MEAT ALTERNATIVE GROWN FROM ANIMAL CELL DNA OBTAINED
TEN YEARS AGO, WHICH DOES NOT CURRENTLY INVOLVE THE RAISING OF ANIMALS
11%   Total
2%    Vegans
4%    All Vegetarians including vegans
5%    Vegetarians not including vegans
12%   All those that eat one or more vegetarian meals per week, not
including vegetarians/vegans. 

Some advocacy groups, individuals, researchers, and businesses see
meat grown in a factory as the answer to numerous environmental and
animal welfare issues. As of now, each vegetarian-interested consumer
segment seems not to be ready for this product. VRG suggests that
these types of products be labeled and disclosed so consumers will be
able to make their own decisions in the marketplace.

METHODOLOGY
Harris Interactive conducted a survey within the United States by
telephone on behalf of The Vegetarian Resource Group between March
15-18, 2012 and March 22-25, 2012, among a nationwide cross section of
2,030 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race,
education, region, number of adults in household, and number of
telephone lines were weighted where necessary to bring them into line
with their actual proportions in the U.S. population. For those that
ate one or more vegetarian meals per week, VRG asked follow-up
questions. For the vegetarians, in theory, with probability samples of
this size, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the results
for the overall sample have a sampling error of plus or minus 10
percentage points. For those that ate one or more vegetarian meals per
week, the sampling error would be approximately three percentage
points. From VRG's first question, they determined that forty seven
percent or 982 respondents ate one or more vegetarian meals per week
and asked the follow-up questions of these individuals.
Unfortunately, there are several other possible sources of error in
all polls or surveys, including refusals to be interviewed (i.e.,
non-response), question wording and question order, and weighting. It
is impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these
factors.

The data above are from the Harris Interactive telephone poll. The
interpretation and analysis above are those of The Vegetarian Resource
Group, and not directly a result of the poll. The thoughts are based
on these numbers and other polls, as well as VRG's other experience
and research in the vegetarian movement. These results and conclusions
can drastically change, especially when in the future there are more
vegetarians and as vegetarians are more knowledgeable. 

For more information on Vegetarian Resource Group polls, see
[ http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/faq.htm#poll ]

The Vegetarian Resource Group is a nonprofit organization, which
educates the public about vegetarianism and veganism. It publishes
Vegetarian Journal, sponsors two $5,000 college scholarships for high
school seniors, maintains a list or restaurants in the U.S. and Canada
[ http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php ], sponsors a Parents' e-mail
list [ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vrgparents/ ], and offers books
such as Simply Vegan and Vegans Know How to Party. See
[ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/ ]

For more information, visit [ http://www.vrg.org ], call 
(410) 366-8343, e-mail vrg@vrg.org, or write to:

The Vegetarian Resource Group
P.O. Box 1463 
Baltimore, MD 21203.