The 411 on Meatless Monday

What if the secret to a healthy diet could be summed up in one word? Monday. And what if that same word could make you the office “trend guru”? Now that we have your attention, read on to learn more.

Health conscious consumers have many strategies for staying fit and one that continues to be popular is Meatless Mondays. Celebrity lifestyle experts from Martha to Oprah to Rachael have exalted the benefits of going meatless one day a week for our bodies, the environment and our budgets. Search “meatless Monday” on Pinterest and thousands of recipes and posts are dedicated to this healthy habit. While we thought it was initiated around 10 years ago, we were surprised to learn that Meatless Mondays started during WWI when the FDA suggested, “food would win the war.” Reducing consumption of key staples, it speculated, would guarantee supplies and as a result, more than 13 million families then signed a pledge to support this effort.

During WWII Meatless Mondays were revived to continue the initiative and then went by the wayside until 2003 when an ad exec turned public health advocate set out to educate consumers about the health benefits of reducing meat consumption. While meat consumption by the average American had reached a high of 201 pounds per person/year in 2004, recently in 2012 that number fell to 181.5 pounds, the lowest level in three decades.1

So what’s happening with Meatless Mondays (MM) in 2015? Last month, Chipotle got in on the MM trend by tempting consumers with a free meal if they ordered their tofu based Soffrito burrito. Additionally, whole cities are embracing the trend: New York City recently joined Philadelphia, Los Angeles among other major cities and 36 countries adopting Meatless Mondays in the interest of their citizens’ health and reduction of their carbon footprint. Inspired, restaurant chefs all over the city are offering MM menu selections.

Don’t Miss the Meat

For consumers, reducing their waistlines, carbon footprint and improving overall health are goals when incorporating a Meatless Monday (MM) tradition into their weekly repertoire. Consumers are looking for meatless meal ideas that are bright, full of bold ethnic flavors with simple preparation and until Pinterest came into our lives, finding recipes required a lot of time and effort or meant relying on magazines or searching the Internet. Enter Blue Apron, a meal-delivery service, which has capitalized on this demand. Consumers choose their menus and a box arrives complete with the recipe, ingredients and serving suggestions for easy preparation at home. Many of the selections revolve around meatless options with alternative proteins boasting unique vegetables, spices and ethnic flavors.

Meatless Mondays to Trend Guru

So go ahead and propose some MM concepts with unique protein sources in your next development meeting. Some expected and unexpected sources of protein are colored cauliflower, purple baby Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, peas, Spinach, or Greek yogurt and can satisfy a MM goal. And we can’t resist a little shameless self-promotion but we think our Meatless Thai Street Taco Seasoning will have consumers saying, “Where’s the Beef?

So, go on, make Meatless Monday a bench top development goal for 2015. And get ready to put that Trend Guru Hat on.