This blog, written by Kelly Herrick, originally featured on Blooloop. To read more themed attractions industry blogs and the latest news in the theme park world head over to blooloop.com
Veganism, or plant-based living, is on the rise. In fact, the vegan trend has grown sevenfold between 2014-2019 according to Google trends and a successful Veganuary has just finished.
What can this worldwide vegan trend teach us in the attractions industry? We have seen Not Dog restaurant open in Chessington World of Adventures and Disney have announced 400 new vegan dishes to roll out across their parks. Yet, it is about so much more than making good vegan food available at your attraction.
Impossible Burger at SeaWorld Parks
Reasons behind the vegan trend
Let’s start with why people are switching to being vegans.
Greater awareness. Of animals, of personal health, of the planet. There is a willingness to choose better, more ethically and more sustainably. This is about feeling positive and having a guilt-free life.
Freedom of choice. Easier access to vegan foods, the ability to ‘stick it to the man’, the flexibility of when/how/where. This is about personal power and being an individual.
Joining the tribe. Celebrity endorsers, social media, generational attitudes. This is all about being part of the vegan revolution, being part of a community and creating the world to reflect your values.
Three big motivations, three translatable themes, three gifts to us in the attractions industry. Before any trend becomes a behaviour it is a mindset and an emotion. The practical choices come way after the gut feeling. So let’s tap into those mindsets and create powerful and meaningful guest experiences.
Here’s one killer idea you can implement for each theme
The theme of greater awareness. Create guilt-free activities or moments in your attraction. Edutainment and physical activities are both growth areas in our industry. Guests enjoy them because not only are they entertaining, they feel guilt-free, in fact, they feel rewarded for doing them.
The theme of freedom of choice. Offer chances for guests to explore and be flexible. It could be pop up food or the chance to give to a charity, or the ability to go off-grid. Something as simple as free play without instruction can align with freedom of choice.
The theme of joining the tribe. First, you have to be part of a tribe yourself or create one. If you do good things tell people and align with other groups trying to reach the same goals. Create a place where people can pledge, take part or learn more.
Above all be authentic. The opportunity to win the hearts and minds of your guests only works if the motivation to do so is genuine. Align to the mindset shifts and reap the benefits for everyone; enhance your guest experience and optimise your commercial goals. Who knows, we might even do some good in the world too.