When a restaurant offers a vegan dish, customers are more likely to order it if it’s presented as “good for the planet,” rather than simply “vegan” on the menu. This suggests a recent experiment with 6,000 Americans.
This research, conducted by the non-profit research organization World Resources Institute (WRI), was based on the principle of behavioral science. She tested the influence of ten “environmentally friendly” messages on restaurant ordering choices. For this, the participants had to choose between meat or vegetable dishes, for example a beef burrito versus a bean burrito.
Eco-friendly messages have prompted a quarter of participants to eat vegetarian food
Some of the tested messages deliver strong messages: “Each of us can make a positive difference to the planet”, “ Your small change can make a big difference”. Or : “If you swap a single meat dish for a vegetarian dish, you save greenhouse gases equivalent to the energy you use to charge your phone for two years”.
In 25% of cases, reading these messages led participants to choose the vegetarian option. One of the suggested posts alone generated 22% of “vegetarian choices”: “90% of Americans choose to eat less meat. Join this growing movement and choose plant-based dishes that have less impact on the climate and are kinder to the planet”.
The “vegan” and “vegetarian” entries are less convincing
Other messages related to the taste of food and the need to protect the planet for future generations also encouraged participants to consume more vegetarian meals, notes the experience, distributed by the English newspaper The Guardian.
Conversely, dishes that were simply accompanied by the words “vegan” or “vegetarian” were less likely to encourage participants to eat meat-free dishes.
The WRI emphasizes the importance of carefully choosing the messages displayed on menus, as they can significantly influence our consumption choices.
(ETX Daily Up)