For Immediate Release: March 14, 2013 Contacts: John Cunningham (410) 366-8343 Sonja Helman: firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com, or write to: The Vegetarian Resource Group P.O. Box 1463 Baltimore, MD 21203.