Some interesting research is being done at QUT (Queensland University of Technology), looking at how to increase the adoption of vegan products by consumers. The researchers undertaking this project ask, "what if more people could adopt more food innovations?"
The research will take a business marketing approach and use the "dual-market" theory to help explain the process. This theory distinguishes between an early market (in this case mainly vegans), and the main market (non-vegans), within which vegan innovations can diffuse. According to the theory, between the early market and the main market lies the "chasm", which marks the difficulty of getting disruptive ideas (such as vegan food innovations in this project) to become mainstream.
The research will try to determine what promotes and prohibits adoption of vegan food innovations, that is vegan menu items at cafes and restaurants, for vegans, and importantly for non-vegans as well. Identifying these factors can help existing and future businesses devise effective product and marketing strategies to cross the chasm so that vegan innovations can achieve greater diffusion in society.
The current project, titled "Veganism as a vehicle to grow the global bioeconomy", is the initial stage of a larger plan that will look at the vegan product ecosystem, including innovators, retailers and research institutions.
The research is funded by a grant from the Institute for Future Environments at QUT.
The project has begun a YouTube channel where some of the research results will be explained. The first video by the project leader Dr Ozgur Dedehayir explains some of the background ideas of the project.
Stay tuned for more results from the research over the coming months.