TGI Fridays to Run Meatless Monday Campaign After Vegan Burger Launch

TGI Fridays to Run Meatless Monday Campaign After Vegan Burger Launch
iStock/BreatheFitness

With the recent addition of Beyond Meat’s vegan Beyond Burger to more than 450 U.S. locations, TGI Fridays announced yesterday that it’s also joining the ever-popular Meatless Monday campaign, which encourages people to go meatless on Mondays for their health and for the planet.

“Appealing to a more food-forward consumer is a key priority for Fridays in 2018,” David Spirito, executive culinary director for the chain, said in a statement. “In answering guests’ demand for nutritional menu items that fit their lifestyle needs, we saw an opportunity to introduce newly expanded options like plant-based protein. With Beyond Burger, diners will have a sensory experience of a traditional burger without sacrificing taste.”

TGI Fridays won’t be pulling meat off of its menus on Mondays, but it will be collaborating with the Meatless Monday campaign in exclusive online promotional activities through major social media networks in a plan the chain says “has the potential of drawing diverse consumers to the meat-centric chain [for meatless meals].”

Meatless Monday has seen an uptick in popularity in recent years, and according to a 2017 survey, nearly one-third of consumers would support seeing Meatless Monday campaigns promoted at fast-food or quick-service restaurants.

“We’re excited that TGI Fridays, an iconic global restaurant brand, is leveraging Monday as a day to attract consumers to try Beyond Burger and Fridays’ other plant-based selections, without taking meat off their menu,” Dana Smith, Meatless Monday campaign director, said. “Our research shows that choosing meatless options, even one day a week, can help make a difference in our personal health and the health of our planet.”

The Beyond Burger is the plant-based burger that looks, cooks, and tastes like a traditional burger. But the patty is made entirely from plants — peas, beets, and coconut oil. It’s become the flagship product for Southern California’s Beyond Meat, which strategically merchandises its products adjacent to supermarket meat counters. The company recently announced the launch of Beyond Sausage, which is currently only available at the Boulder, Colo., Whole Foods Market.

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Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.