Alternative Meat Products at the Keg
I imagine that a report on this topic might require information on such topics as...
- The demographics of people who buy alternative meat products
- Studies on motivational factors for alt-meat products
- Data on market sizes for meat and alt-meat products
- Information about new alt-meat products coming to the market, as well as the responses of major meat-producing companies
Most of those topics are covered at least partially in a blog post that I wrote just a few months ago to support some students who were doing primary market research on this topic:
Be sure to explore all the resources and search tips listed in that post as I will be trying to not duplicate content here. Instead, I'll focus on filling in some of the gaps between that assignment and this BUS 360W case.
Note: This is a topic that is changing quickly as new products are launched and new data on changing consumer preferences is published. Be sure to monitor the news (tips in my post & below) throughout the term so that you can base your recommendations on the most current information. For example, just today (Sept. 9) Fast Company published an article on Alt-Meat in the US. (Choose the PDF version to see the infographics.)
- Rough exploratory search focused on restaurants
- Similar search, but focused on major restaurant industry magazines
B. I suspect there will be a strong consumer psychology angle to this topic. Food choices such as meat tend to get built into the identities of some people, and when identities are threatened, responses aren't always rational. Even if you convince yourself that this isn't likely to be an issue in this case, expect that your audience needs to be convinced as well.
- Our PsycInfo database can be a great place to start when looking for research on this topic. (Rough exploratory search)
- I noticed a "dissertation" in that rough search listed above: Threatened at the table: Meat consumption, maleness and men's gender identities. Such publications can be gold mines, especially if they are found early in your research. Their references tend to be exhaustive -- saving you lots of searching -- and they may have been cited by newer articles and books on similar topics.
C. In my blog post, I mentioned Factiva as a major news database to search on this fast-changing topic. Since the Keg is a Canadian restaurant chain, you may also want to search our Canadian Newsstream database for articles in Canadian newspapers such as the Vancouver Sun and the Toronto Star.
- Rough exploratory search
- Be sure to look for clues about related research in news articles. For instance, this 2018 Vancouver Sun article mentioned this Dalhousie study
D. Another example of following leads: I came across this study in one of my searches -- CONSUMPTION BEHAVIOR AND TRENDS: Understanding the shift required towards healthy, sustainable and enjoyable diets -- and noticed that one of their case studies (page 43) mentioned a study by Linda Bacon on the effect of putting vegetarian food in a separate category on restaurant menus. A bit of quick digging and I had the full research article that resulted from that study. (And now you do, too!)
F. Just announced today (18 Sept): Tim Horton's is going to phase out their Beyond Meat products, except in BC and Ontario. This article includes some interesting perspectives, stats and expert opinions... all good clues to investigate further! I found it particularly interesting to read that the alt-meat products didn't quite fit with the Timmies brand.
G. Our Statista database can be a great way to quickly find out stats on topics such as vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, meatless, and "meat consumption". Be sure to look for links to original sources for each statistic so that you can uncover further data and context.
H. If you need data on Canadians' use of different restaurant types, as well as their opinions about relevant topics, use our Vividata database
- Vividata can be difficult to use. Start with our Introductory Guide
- Key variables to look for in Vividata:
- Restaurants - Food Type - Steakhouses (has data on users who report being light/med/heavy users of such restaurants)
- Diet/Health - Views - Always check food nutritional content
- Diet/Health - Views - I am eating more healthy food than in the past
- Diet/Health - Views - I mainly eat vegetarian food
- Environment - Views - Prepared pay more for enviro friendly prods
- Environment - Views - Prepared make lifestyle compromises to benefit enviro
- Environment - Views - I give preference to 'green' products
- Environment - Views - Global warming not man-made - it's natural occurrence
- Food - Views - I like to try out new food products
- Food - Views - It's worth paying more for organic food
I. Public opinion polling resources sometimes have relevant survey results, although you do need to be careful about what people say is also what they do. Here are a few examples to explore. Be sure to read carefully for any links to detailed data tables or full reports.
- Angus Reid Institute - Meatless Millennials: Younger Canadians feeding growth of plant-based meat substitutes
- Insights West - A significant number of Canadians are considering a more plant-based, less animal-reliant diet, citing concerns over the environment and animal cruelty
- Ipsos - Food for thought: Would you like real or fake meat with that?
J. In case you haven't spotted them, the CBC has been doing a series of stories on BC's thriving vegan scene. Check CBC News for Growing Vegan, but also listen to relevant segments on the Early Edition.
- You aren't trying to make the Keg become vegan, and you aren't even necessarily trying to attract pure vegans, but this series may still have some useful clues. Scan these stories for relevant statistics, mentions of related research or experts, and comments about key issues.
<No further suggestions yet - but keep checking. Also, don't forget that this is your wiki: you are welcome to add any tips here whenever you'd like. --- MB>