In the past decade, consumers across all demographics have developed a heightened sense of health and nutrition, a mindset that has permeated through almost every category in the food space. Consumers, influenced by the pervasive war against sodas, have been drifting away from unhealthy beverage choices and are instead opting for juice. The juice bar and cold-pressed juice craze has expanded tremendously and you can now find dedicated juice bars on almost every street in Manhattan.
Juice Generation, who has been around since 1999, is one of the leading players in the $100 million cold-pressed juice market. The company has consistently stayed on trend by opening up juice bars in Equinox gyms. Juice Generation founder and CEO Eric Helms, is yet again listening and observing consumer demand trends and acting accordingly. With increasingly more people looking for clean, nutrition-packed, plant-based food, just as they look for clean beverages, Helms knew he had to expand into the vegan food space. And so came to be Juice Generation’s brand new menu, aptly named “Vegan4Lunch” which offers a variety of chef-made vegan meals such as Jackfruit Tacos, Green Papaya Pad Thai, and Wild Mushroom Avocado Rolls. Helms, as with most other food companies, isn’t trying to convert every single consumer to a vegan lifestyle. Instead, he presents the menu as a small daily decision that will have a big impact.
“We think that by choosing a plant-based meal whenever you can it can have some really big implications…it can impact not only how you look and feel but also the community, animals, and certainly the environment,” Helms told the New York Business Journal in an interview.
One Green Planet believes that our global food system dominated by industrial animal agriculture is at the heart of our environmental crisis. This destructive industry currently occupies over half of the world’s arable land resources, uses the majority of our freshwater stores, and drives greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, this system causes rampant air and water pollution, land degradation, deforestation and is pushing countless species to the brink of extinction. And yet, one in eight people still suffer from food scarcity.
Choosing one plant-based meal might seem like a small thing, but when you consider that by choosing to eat more vegan foods, you can drastically cut your carbon footprint, save precious water supplies, and help ensure that vital crop resources are fed to people, rather than livestock, suddenly the true implications become clear. This is a reality that many Americans are waking up to, and they want to make a difference.
“As Americans learn more about how food is directly tied to our health and well-being, as well as the health of the planet, they are seeking better options, namely less meat, and more plant-based foods,” said Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder of One Green Planet. “If you had a choice to eat a product that uses significantly less land and water, had a smaller carbon footprint, and still delivered the same taste and texture of meat, in a healthier form, would you try it? The real question is, why not? Not to mention, on the business side, the plant-based meat market is set to reach $5.2B by 2020 and could make up one-third of the market by 2050.”
In the case of Juice Generation, Helms realizes that consumers not only want quality and healthy fare, but they want it in a quick and convenient way that will fit their busy schedule. Given the market for plant-based foods, this is an enormous opportunity for the company. The CEO hopes that the menu will become a healthy alternative to fast food, and that consumers will feel as good about heading to a Juice Generation for one of their vegan meals as they do about getting a fresh-squeezed juice.
Image source: Juice Generation/Facebook