In a recent interview with Philly.com, Saladworks CEO Patrick Sugrue revealed his business strategy to attract new consumers to the more than 100-location chain. Before his appointment as CEO last year, Sugrue worked for meat companies such as HoneyBaked Ham and Fearmans Pork, Inc., and admits that he orders his entrées at Saladworks with plenty of animal products. However, the executive is exploring opportunities to add more plant-protein to the menu at Saladworks to cater to a growing vegan customer base. “You used to see the vegans as a marginal group, two percent of the population,” Sugrue said. “When you go to millennials, 77 million millennials, if you take vegan, vegetarian, and what’s called pescatarian, which is basically eating seafood and plants, it’s 22 percent of the population. It’s gone from being a marginal group to a huge group.” Other meat-industry professionals have become more attuned with the growing demand for meat alternatives, as evidenced by Tyson Foods CEO Tom Hayes, who told Fox Business in March that he believed plant-based food is the future.
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