Rising environmental concerns indicate Ovolo Group’s move to go plant-based for a year is sensible, says GlobalData

Hong Kong-based Ovolo Hotels’ move to become completely vegetarian is a bold move which the industry can learn from and emulate. There is evidence for increased support for vegetarianism in the growing global meat substitute market, which has grown by *** (8%) in 2020 to reach US$5.1bn from US$4.7bn in 2019. The continuing success of this category reflects growing popularity for meat reduction among the consumers and provides ample investment opportunities for the restaurant sector, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Ryan Whittaker, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “It is an unusual yet confident move for a hotel group, including its restaurants, bars and room service, to go vegetarian for a year. Ovolo Hotels’ aims to focus on plant-based cuisine to reduce its carbon footprint reflect the rising concerns
for the environment shared by many consumers.

“Indeed, GlobalData’s latest COVID-19 recovery survey found that *12% of global consumers say that a reduced environmental footprint is now their top priority, and almost half of global consumers ** (48%) consider these things more important now than before COVID-19. The plant-based boom, the rise of veganism and flexitarian diets, and a renewed focus on sustainability through ‘clean eating’, which have all taken the center stage in recent years, bodes well for this unprecedented strategy.”

The ‘Year of the Veg’ campaign is likely to turn the chain’s entire foodservice part of the business 100% meat free. Ovolo Group’s locations in Australia including Monster Kitchen & Bar at Ovolo Nishi in Canberra, ZA TA at Ovolo The Valley in Brisbane, and Mr Percy at Ovolo 1888 in Sydney will go plant-based for a year. These restaurants will now be in alignment with Alibi Bar & Kitchen at Ovolo Woolloomooloo, which holds the title of being the first 100% plant-based hotel restaurant serving only vegan dishes in Australia and New Zealand.

Whittaker concludes: “Ovolo Group has a shorter distance to travel than many other chains and restaurants when it comes to plant-based cuisine as it is already having the expertise of running several successful plant-based restaurants. With ‘green’ initiatives such as the global release of Attenborough’s ‘A Life on Our Planet’ continuing to gain traction, consumers and companies will be looking for ways to reduce their impact on the environment globally. These kinds of steps carry a lower risk for Ovolo Group than many others. Having said that, the stress COVID-19 will put on the hospitality industry is likely to continue to be severe.”

  • *Covid-19 recovery tracker consumer survey, 12th October 2020
  • ** Covid-19 recovery tracker consumer survey, 12th October 2020, combining ‘it is now my top priority’, ‘significantly more important than before’ and ‘slightly more important than before’
  • ***Market data is based on retail consumption, and is therefore not reflective of the foodservice industry

                                       

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