It's that time of year again! We all get to come together and examine the results of the second annual Chattanooga Veg Survey! It's amazing to see how much the vegan scene has grown in just one year since ChattaVegan has launched. We started the site in June 2016 with hopes to highlight a handful of favorite restaurants that new or visiting vegans could count on to keep them fed. Since then our list of restaurants has grown substantially, we've got over 1,000 unique followers on social media, and thousands more page views! The latest data shows 6% of US consumers now claim to be vegan, up from just 1% in 2014. This is a statistic that could not be more evident in our amazing city!
Now it's time to get down to business. Who were the favorites and what new things did we learn?
Favorite Veg-Friendly Restaurants
We think it will come as no surprise to most that once again Mojo Burrito (our very first blog post) has come out on top as Chattanooga's most veg-friendly. We love the partnership Mojo has made to offer local Cha Cha Vegan Cashew Cheese and the fact that they proudly display a "vegan-friendly" banner on the front page of their website.
Other top spots that have carried over from last year include Taco Mamacita, Mellow Mushroom, Good Dog, Urban Stack, Two Ten Jack, and Tony's. Newcomers Dos Bros came out of the gate swinging and grabbed the number four spot, while Sweet Basil made a huge leap from last year to round out the top five. Notable entries new to this year are Clumpies for making their own vegan ice creams and Chew Chew Chattanooga for being the first food truck to make a serious effort to cater to a vegan audience.
Is chattanooga Veg-Friendly?
We still have a long way to go, but it's amazing to see that over 80% of participants believe Chattanooga is a veg-friendly city! That's up from 68% in 2016 when we had half the number of respondents. Let's spread the word to vegans everywhere how amazing it is to call Chattanooga home!
DEMOGRAPHICs (or THE lack thereof)
We present these finding with little commentary other than to point out there is a definite bubble. Throughout the remainder of 2017, we plan to feature posts dealing with how we can all reach out to engage POC, men, and the youth of Chattanooga. If you are a member of an underserved community and you'd like to contribute an article to ChattaVegan, please contact us.
WHAT INTERESTS YOU?
We put out a list of potential activities to help us understand what our priorities should be in both community building and vegan outreach. To our surprise, "outdoor activities" was by far the most popular option. This is fantastic news as the new Facebook group Team Humane League - Chattanooga will be planning group runs/ride/hikes throughout the rest of 2017. Please join if you want to stay informed of all future events, as we may even branch out into camping, paddling, and climbing excursions.
Regularly scheduled potlucks expectedly received a fair share of votes, and we hope to see more of that on the horizon. The other items all had substantial interest, so we will be working on each of them over the next several months. In the meantime, don't wait for us to take the lead. Start your own projects, and we will gladly participate and promote them as much as we possibly can.
I'm still an amateur when it comes to food blogging, web design, and activism, but by day I'm a Senior Analyst at a major telecommunications company. The opportunity to model this data fell right into my wheelhouse, and I was thankful to finally play around with something I deeply cared about. In addition to the primary reasons why respondents became vegan/vegetarian, below are a few extra insights I was able to determine based on our results.
White women over 24 years old account for 59% of all respondents
50% of respondents have a household income greater than $60K, and 77% greater than $30K.
63% of respondents prefer vegan items interspersed in a menu and subtly marked, 36% prefer a dedicated vegan section, and 1% prefer no markings whatsoever.
Those under 35 more frequently chose veganism/vegetarianism for animal protection, while those 35 and over more often did so for personal health.
Those that consider Cashew their favorite restaurant are more likely to be vegan/vegetarian for personal health, while those that favor Sluggo's are more interested in animal protection. There are no significant correlations for other restaurants/reasons.
The primary reason for becoming vegan/vegetarian significantly shifts from animal protection to personal health as household income increases.
Thank you to all that participated in the survey this year. We can't wait to see what unfolds as the ChattaVegan population continues to grow exponentially!