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Study shows trend toward vegan diet among students in the U.S.

According to a study by food service provider Sodexo, 81% of students choose a vegan dish when it is offered as a standard option. For the study, dining halls at three different universities in the United States were examined.

Positive effect of vegan diet

For the study, eight dishes were offered in the dining halls, including one option with meat and one option vegan. On standard plant-based days, only the vegan dish was presented; the meat alternative was available upon request. On control days, both the vegan dish and the dish with meat were actively offered. The results of the study show, on the standard plant-based days, 81% of the students chose the vegan option. A significant increase from the 31% of students who chose the plant-based option when both options were actively offered.

Runder Teller mit Süßkartoffelpommes und Gemüse. Daneben eine Schüssel mit Knoblauchdip, Guacamole und Grillgemüse

Make vegan more popular

Based on the results of the study, Sodexo concludes that using plant-based foods as a default option can promote positive attitudes toward vegan meals. The normalization of plant-based foods could make this option more popular, especially with Generation Z. The Better Food Foundation, confirms that Gen Z students are not only open to a plant-based diet, but generally prefer places that offer plant-based meals.

Cafeterias become more vegan

Last year, Sodexo announced plans to convert half of its menu options to plant-based by 2025. This is also intended to achieve the organization’s climate goals. Because the results of the study also showed that on the standard vegan days, food-related emissions dropped by 23, 6%! And in Germany, too, more and more vegan dishes are being offered at university canteens. At the University of Kaiserslautern, for example, the proportion of meat-free alternative meals is around 60 percent, while last year even the firstvegetarian-vegan refectory was opened at the University of Hamburg!

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