Alternative Proteins

Rise of the Vegetarian QSRs and fast casuals

Whilst vegetarianism and veganism are relatively rare more and more consumers are turning to flexitarianism. This is where consumers “flex” from meat products to plant and other alternatives. This has many drivers, including environmental and ethical concerns. The reason this is now a major concern for the conventional meat and QSR industries is that these alternatives taste good! Consumers no longer have to sacrifice taste and satisfaction to live their values. This is leading to the rise of the Vegetarian QSRs and fast casuals.

Yes these new QSRs are tiny compared to the huge chains like KFC, McDonalds etc, but even they started with one restaurant! For instance;

  • By Chloe, founded in New York in 2015 has 6 locations.
  • Veggie Grill, a fast casual chain, started in 2005 has 30 locations.
  • Next Level Burger has just launched its 7th store. Interestingly 5 are in Whole Foods stores.
  • Amys Drive through has 2 locations and plans to open country wide.

Locally Australian born chain Lord of the Fries has 16 stores nationwide and 2 in NZ. Again, a far cry from the number of McDonalds and KFC stores, but it’s a herald of things to come.

Will vegetarian/veganism be a “Black Swan” event, who knows, but never say never!


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