Updated: Aug 24
Flipside, a restaurant in Farringdon, a borough in London, has recently been in the limelight. The unique element about this restaurant is that it is a 100% plant-based quick service restaurant. With red, white and blue interiors, American radio stations playing in the background, and an American style menu, it is difficult to guess that the restaurant is all vegan. However, the restaurant actually offers food products like quarter pounders, chicken burgers, chipotle and ranch burritos which taste like meat but contain no real meat. The products are all vegan alternatives for chicken, beef, tuna, and eggs.
The menu is aimed to satisfy the cravings of people who have been meat eaters previously but have turned vegetarian or vegan. The restaurant encourages the public to be a part-time herbivore if not full time. It does not call itself a vegan restaurant and welcomes meat eaters also. The aim is to promote wellness and to save the environment. One of the popular food items in the restaurant is the air baked fries which are made without oil. Some dairy-free products are mac n cheese, yogurt pots, and bakery items such as banana bread, cupcakes, cookies, and muffins. The mainstream items in the menu are burgers, burritos, and super bowls.
The vegan industry is being called the next billion-dollar industry. Demand for vegan food and vegan leather products such as clothes and shoes are rising. The social change and shift have been observed, leaning towards less processed and organic products. And as a reaction, consumers are avoiding products which they perceive to be more processed than normal. The change in society has directly affected changes in the food industry. Companies who are predicting downfall in sales due to the shift in consumer behavior are attempting to change their products. One of the examples is Coca Cola acquiring Innocent Juice and Pret-a-Manger as people are reducing consumption of sugar and carbonated drinks.
McDonald's has changed its menu to make it healthier; however, is still perceived to be a junk food restaurant. In the shift towards a more healthier and ethical lifestyle, people are becoming more conscious about their materialistic buying and immaterialist actions. One of the other major concern for the same psychographic market segment is the environment and global warming. The population consumes vegan food products in order to be ethical to animals and to reduce pollutions which is caused to air, water, and land while producing meat products. Consumers turning vegan are generally supporters of animal welfare, environmentalism, wellness or are all of them.
Due to the evolution of the behaviors towards post materialism, a huge amount of information, resources and groups are arising on the basis of ethical living, environmentalism, and to reduce the negative impact on the planet. The same applies to veganism. Vegan consumers and the vegan industry have together created vegan substitutes of almost all food products over the years. Some of them are beef, chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt, honey, cheese, etc. People involved in veganism organize meet-ups or gather online to explore and expand veganism. With the high number of the population turning into vegan demographically, all the food chains are also trying to adapt.
Most of the major food chains as well as local restaurants in Europe now offer vegan options on their menu. Some of them are Subway, Starbucks, Leon, etc. In the previous years, only restaurants who specialize in vegan food used to operate in the food industry to serve the vegan population. The adaptions of adding vegan food on the menu is an ongoing trend. The impact of the trend will be that vegan consumers would be able to eat in mainstream restaurants now as opposed to going only to vegan restaurants in the previous years. Earlier meat eaters would not visit a vegan restaurant, but interestingly now meat eaters are also trying the plant-based alternatives and changing their mind.
As the consumers are becoming more and more conscious about the food they consume, Flipside has managed to hit the right spot. It targets the growing vegan consumers as well as persuades meat eaters to reduce their meat consumption. The restaurant has also managed to satisfy its customers and turn them into loyal customers by offering various products from plant-based teas, coffees, meals, snacks, and desserts to satisfy all their dietary needs and wants.
With the high level of specialization in the plant-based menu, and offering the famous and conventional food products such as quarter pounder burgers, mac-n-cheese, “meaty” burritos, Flipside is a one of a kind restaurant, pioneering in the area. Currently sailing in a blue ocean market, the question remains “Can Flipside be the McDonalds of the future?”