A new bus ad campaign for meal delivery service Postmates tells New Yorkers they can use the platform if they’re craving a protein “that never had a heartbeat.” In other words: plants.
It’s the latest advert to speak to the growing interest in plant-based and vegan food.
Swedish oat milk brand Oatly plastered buses and bus stop benches with tongue-in-cheek messaging all across the U.S. earlier this year to promote its popular dairy-free milk. “Reading oat milk ads while driving is not a crime yet,” read one of the ads on the back of a Los Angeles Metro bus. On the side of the same bus was an ad for Del Taco’s vegan Beyond Meat tacos. “The future of tacos is here,” it read.
Vegan Ads Go Mainstream
New Yorkers can also glimpse vegan “Joker” star Joaquin Phoenix in a Times Square billboard. The ad, a campaign from animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), encourages people to make the connection across species. “We are all animals,” the ad reads. Phoenix is posed in the advert eye to eye with a chicken.
Consumers are increasingly using platforms like Postmates and Uber Eats for vegan food. According to recent data in the UK, vegan food takeaway orders increased by nearly 400 percent between 2016 and 2018.
Meal delivery service Grubhub says orders of the vegan Impossible Burger in the U.S. increased by more than 80 percent in the last year. “[W]e know plant-based options are on the rise across America, and we’re seeing this trend in delivery as well,” the company said in a statement. “Orders of vegan-friendly foods on the Grubhub platform increased by 25% so far in 2019 (as compared to Jan-May 2018), with orders for the Impossible Burger specifically rising overall by 82%.”
Postmates’ ad placement in New York makes sense. Cities boasting the most vegan meal delivery orders include New York City, as well as Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Portland, and Las Vegas.
But it’s not just delivery seeing a boom in vegan meals. The drive-thru is getting a vegan makeover, too. Fast-food restaurant chains are cashing in on the trend in a big way. Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, made with the vegan Impossible Burger, has led to sales spikes at locations across the country. KFC trialed vegan Beyond Meat chicken at a test location in Atlanta last month, which saw a line of people around the block. It sold out within hours, selling more vegan chicken than it typically sells of its original popcorn chicken within a week.
And then last week McDonald’s finally caught up with the trend. The chain announced a 12-week trial of the vegan Beyond Burger in select Canadian locations. The world’s largest fast-food burger chain has vegan items on menus throughout Europe and Israel. But this marks its first foray into North America with a vegan burger. It will look at expanding the option based on the success of the trial. And, presumably, bus ads to follow.