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5 Tips for Building Your Brand with Vegan and Vegetarian Employee Initiatives

In today’s tight labor market businesses need to do everything they can to attract and…

  • October 29, 2019

In today’s tight labor market businesses need to do everything they can to attract and retain employees. Some of the “cheapest” things they can do is tie work benefits and company initiatives to employees’ interests, values and lifestyles. This includes the growing number of vegan and vegetarian employees.

Orange Orchard, a global public relations agency championing plant-based, environmentally conscious and animal welfare brands, is encouraging American businesses to celebrate National Vegetarian Awareness Month in October by implementing plant-based and animal-friendly employee initiatives.

“National Vegetarian Awareness Month is the perfect time to stand up and let employees know your company is passionate about health, animal welfare and the environment,” said Heather Ripley, founder and CEO of Orange Orchard. “You’ll be doing the right thing while building a stronger culture of trust and authenticity with your employees. Customers notice, too, when your team shares a commitment to the common good. More and more people consider that a premium worth paying for.”

More people than ever are practicing conscious capitalism. The market for vegan food, clothing and personal products has seen incredible growth in recent years.

The market for vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives is expected to be worth $5 billion in 2020, according to Allied Market Research, and Nielsen says nearly three-quarters of millennials are willing to spend more money for sustainable products.

A study recently conducted by OnePoll found that nearly 59 percent of the Americans polled eat plant-based meals at least once a day.

Businesses have noticed. Plant-based frozen foods, vegan fast-casual choices, cruelty-free cosmetics and sophisticated faux-leather options are widely available and more convenient than ever. Ripley suggests the following steps for companies that want to support their employees’ plant-based choices during National Vegetarian Awareness Month:

Offer: Make sure to offer thoughtful plant-based options at company outings and stock vegan and vegetarian snacks in the breakroom. Consider plant-based or sustainable materials for office furniture and company swag.

Invite: Schedule demonstrations and casual learning events about plant-based nutrition and sustainable living led by experts from your community.

Donate: Contribute to a nonprofit organization that promotes plant-based lifestyles, or sponsor participation in a local 5K, festival or other event that supports environmental or animal-friendly causes.

Encourage: Make it easy for employees to try out a plant-based diet by offering small incentives for participation in Veganuary, Meatless Mondays or other global campaigns.

Reflect: Consider your company’s products and processes. Does your business give back to the planet or just take away? What happens at the end of a product’s life? Do you empower your employees to live their values on the job and at home? Think about what else you and your company can do. And don’t forget to ask your team and customers for their honest feedback.

“Taking these steps is the foundation of a commitment to sustainable, cruelty-free living, but don’t stop there,” Ripley said. “In order to be fully effective, your message of compassion and conviction needs to reach the right audience. Let’s face it — you want to build your brand. As it grows, it also provides a platform to communicate with people who share your ideals and values, putting you in a position to have an even bigger impact in the future.”

Ripley also encourages companies to share these initiatives and activities on social media. “Your stories can empower employees and consumers to take steps necessary for fundamental change, and that’s the most important thing.”