Friends of the Earth launches loyalty scheme in Portsmouth to help students eat less meat

KALE YEAH! rewards students with a free meal for every 6 veggie or vegan meals purchased in university cafes.
  Published:  02 Oct 2018    |      2 minute read

Friends of the Earth has teamed up with the University of Portsmouth to pilot a new loyalty scheme to encourage students to eat less meat and more veg.

Rather than using a physical card, meals and loyalty points are logged digitally – so there’s no problem with students losing or forgetting to use their card.

Friends of the Earth is using the pilot to investigate whether a loyalty scheme can prompt behaviour change and create eating habits that might ultimately lead to a lower meat diet. Eating less meat and more veg is better for the planet, our pockets and our health.

A recent NUS survey revealed that 72% of 2259 students eat meat either most days or every day. But there is an opportunity for these habits to change, as many students leave home and take full control over what they eat for the first time.

Key to eating less meat, is the availability and quality of vegetarian and vegan options on offer. University of Portsmouth chefs have been on a training course focused on creating delicious plant-based meals, an additional incentive to encourage uptake of the scheme.

The results of the pilot will be analysed at the end of the Autumn semester, and if successful the loyalty scheme could be launched at other universities.

Clare Oxborrow, senior sustainability advisor at Friends of the Earth, said:

“There is a growing consensus that we need to reduce the amount of meat we eat – for the planet, for farm animal welfare and for our health. But anyone who’s tried a new diet or exercise regime know it’s not always easy to change ingrained habits.

“KALE YEAH! offers an easy way for students to try delicious meat-free meals, whilst saving money. We’re delighted to be working with University of Portsmouth and look forward to seeing how the scheme goes down, and whether ultimately it helps students embrace less and better meat eating habits.”

Rachel Stone, choosing a veggie sandwich at a university cafe, said:

“It’s a great idea. Sustainability is such a key issue these days and it’s good that people have a lot more veggie and vegan options to choose from”.

Head of Catering at the University, Nick Leach, has been working with Friends of the Earth on developing the scheme:

“Nothing focuses customers’ attention more than when there’s a reward at the end. This is about offering a carrot, rather than a stick.”

“People want to know where their food comes from and that it’s good for them. They want to know how the animals were treated and that we’re cutting down on plastic. We have to be responsible for what we offer customers. Caterers must wise up to the fact that tastes and times are changing. There is no plan B for the planet.”