Vegetarianism as a part of the culture

As “society’s personality” (Solomon, 2011), culture involves a number of elements such as beliefs, aims, objectives by which the culture is developed.
Even within one particular culture, values can greatly differ. In the hospitality industry, customers’ values should be considered as a priority. Witts (2016) published an article concerning Gourmet Burger King, claiming its advertisements were “horrible” towards vegetarians. The advert presents the big meat burger with a note “Vegetarians resistance is futile”. Vegetarians have taken great offence to this statement as it is insulting their deeply held values. Moreover, even meat-eaters, though they found it to be, understood the discomfort this could cause vegetarians. This provocative campaign shows people’s perception as well as behavioural point of view. Gourmet Burger King created this advert to provoke reactions from people, encouraging them to talk about the brand and “encourage” meat-eaters to come to their brand. However, non-meat-eaters found it abusive against them despite the fact that Gourmet Burger King also have vegetarian alternatives to choose from.

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Vegetarianism was “created” in 18th century and it still a popular lifestyle choice. By the year 1993 the Vegetarian Society included approximately 16,500 people (Silverstone, 1993). This refers to ideology of cultural system. “Members of a culture tend to share ideas about principles of order and fairness” (Solomon, 2011, p.570). Thereby, vegetarians try to stay together so that they have more value in society. However, this is not true for everybody. Nowadays, the trend of being vegetarian or just eating less meat has become more fashionable. According to Perrett (2016), “almost 3 in 10 people have reduced the amount of meat they eat in the past 12 month”. Marketers should be aware that the UK consumers started to eat less meat. This could affect restaurants in which the main focus of the menu is meat dishes. Including some vegetarian meals could beneficially effect the performance of the restaurant.

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