A recent study from food industry insight company Foodable Labs has revealed that 51 percent of US chefs have added vegan options to their menus in the last year alone.
The company credits the shift in part to increased interest in plant-based fare – which it says is reflected in and fuelled by social media activity, and a 300 percent increase in ‘consumption of plant-based foods’ within the same time frame.
According to the report, 88.2 percent of ‘social media influencers’ were shown to be engaging with chefs’ plant-based content.
This is not the first time that social media has been credited for the popularity of veganism.
Supporting these claims, Instagram user Megan Malthouse told the The Guardian: “More young people are into veganism (especially at about my age) because publicity for it has grown on social media,especially on Instagram.
“On Instagram, people make veganism look like a very desirable lifestyle, and young girls can be influenced by that. They always show pictures of vegan people looking beautiful and healthy.”
The ‘increased interest’ cited by Foodable Labs – and reportedly fuelled by social media – is also evidenced by an international increase in demand for plant-based options.
A UK survey showed a 987 percent increase in demand for meat-free options in 2017 alone, while meat alternative brand Beyond Meat is opening a second production facility because it ‘can’t keep up’ with demand at US stores, or at Canadian restaurants due to its ‘extreme popularity’ in the country.