Following a plant-based diet could just be a matter of availability of more choices. A series of experimental and observational field studies carried out by scientists at the University of Cambridge revealed that just doubling the proportion of vegetarian meals in university cafeterias increased the sales of vegetarian dishes.
The study was conducted on data from 94,644 meals collected in 2017 from 3 English university cafeterias. Two cafeterias were under observational study, while the third was under an experimental study. The proportional sale of vegetarian meals increased by 61.8% and 78.8% percentage when the proportion of vegetarian meals was doubled in the observational study. In the experimental study, the increase in sales was 40.8%. This was accompanied by a drop in sales of meat dishes.
This study comes under the backdrop of increasing emphasis on including more plant-based products in higher-income countries. The research was an attempt to bring an acceptable change by altering the physical environment where people make decisions on their meal selection. “We suggest that our findings have the potential to make a significant contribution to the global ambition for more sustainable diets,” the research concluded.