A new report by Johns Hopkins University analyzing the results of Sodexo’s Meatless Monday promotion at their corporate, government and hospital locations, demonstrates that the campaign can help foodservice companies promote healthy, sustainable options while maintaining consumer satisfaction.
Sodexo’s Meatless Monday initiative began in January of 2011 as part of the company’s Better Tomorrow Plan. The program included new plant-based menu items and communication materials to educate diners on the benefits of eating less meat and more vegetables. The report on the campaign’s impact at Sodexo outlets, released Monday, shows promising figures for the future of health promotion. One of the most significant findings was that 49% of food service directors who implemented the Meatless Monday program saw an increase in purchases of vegetables during the promotion and 30% saw a decrease in meat purchases, showing that Meatless Monday can help shift consumers toward more plant-based options.
“It’s one thing to know from a nutritional perspective that reducing your intake of meat saturated fats is an important component of a healthier lifestyle. But it’s a whole other challenge to make that case to a nation of serious meat lovers,” says Nitu Gupta, Vice President of Food and Nutrition Brand Management for Sodexo. “The popularity of the Meatless Monday initiative demonstrates the fact that it can indeed be done through education combined with great tasting plant-based menu options.”
According to the survey of 245 sites, Meatless Monday helped Sodexo accomplish several important goals. 87% of respondents noted that it demonstrated Sodexo’s commitment to health and 71% reported that the campaign made veggie options more appealing. In addition, food service locations reported that the program was simple to start and had staying power. The majority of providers (77%) said that the campaign was “easy” or “very easy” to implement and, of the 74% who offered Meatless Monday, 64% said they will continue to promote the campaign, with an additional 24% noting that they may continue.
The full report is now available online. Food service providers who are interested in implementing Meatless Monday at their hospital or worksite cafeteria can also take advantage of the free promotional materials available on our action page.