As much as Meatless Monday  — the movement to forgo meat once a week for health and environmental reasons — has gained a following with celebrities, restaurants and food bloggers, few retailers have embraced the idea on a broad scale .
However, that could be about to change as CPG brands enter the Meatless Monday promo game, according to Peggy Neu, president of the Monday Campaigns, the non-profit that started Meatless Monday in 2003.
Morningstar Farms recently took advantage of Los Angeles’ Nov. 2012 Meatless Monday resolution to advertise its veggie burgers.
“So within a week they had a full-page ad in the L.A. Times tapping into that: ‘Hey L.A., if you’re going Meatless Monday, try MorningStar Farms.’ And then they did a tie-in with Vons,” said Neu (see image at right).
WinCo Foods also gave a shout out to Morningstar Farms and Meatless Monday in a recent Facebook post promoting the retailer’s new in-store items.
“And as they [Morningstar Farms] start putting some of their promotional dollars behind it, I think you’re going to see supermarkets more nationally and regionally with stronger Meatless Monday promotions,” said Neu.
Retailers may not always have the budget to promote the meat-free option, so it makes sense for CPG companies and other groups to fill that niche, Neu said. Birds Eye and the Mushroom Council often plug Meatless Monday on their social media channels, and it’s conceivable those promotions may soon jump to the supermarket sphere as well, she added.
“Consumers are looking for creative ways to do this. They’re looking for products they can buy. The demand and the practice is there. So I think it really is about supermarkets meeting that customer demand. And as a result that they can create loyalty with their customers,” said Neu.