At last, the YANKEES!

April 21st, 2015

It’s been a long haul, but at long last, we’re very happy to share that New York’s Yankee Stadium will begin offering vegan frankfurters and burgers effective THIS coming Friday, April 24th!

Logistics are still being finalized, so we don’t have specific stand locations to share today, but keep an eye on the MLB Venue Vegetarian Guide listings for updated information, not just for Yankee Stadium, but for all MLB stadiums. We are continually updating concession menus and are awaiting 2015 listings from several more stadiums at this time.

Remember to use the Guide as a resource for contacting the stadiums yourself, too. (We have an NFL Guide and other venue links, as well.) We never tire of beating the drum of advocacy and empowerment. The more fans that chime in directly, supporting and celebrating vegan options, the stronger those menu options become and the greater likelihood they’ll remain on the menu.

We’ll update the Yankees listing with stand locations as soon as we have them. If you don’t see those yet, but are attending a game, be sure to ask about them. If regular concessions workers aren’t aware of these items being offered yet, or where, ask them to page the concession manager for you or to direct you to fan relations/guest services representative. We also invite you to post photos with your vegan menu items to our Facebook page. :)

Play ball!

 

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IKEA rolls out new veggie (vegan) “meatballs”

April 8th, 2015

IKEA_veggie_balls_2IKEA will roll out its new veggie balls or “Gronsaksbullar” throughout its 40 U.S. cafeterias (except in Carson, CA)  starting tomorrow, April 9. Gronsaksbullar are also vegan, as is the sauce being offered with them. The price is $4.49 for 10 balls and a side of veggies. The total caloric plate is 350 calories and the 10 balls alone are 240 calories. They are gluten, soy, dairy and GMO-free and are made from a blend of green peas, carrot, chickpeas, bell peppers, corn, kale, pea starch, seasonings, onion and canola oil.

Starting on June 30, Gronsaksbullar will also be available for purchase from the Swedish Food Court (as retail packages.)

IKEA has done a great job of celebrating this new item as “the first step to include a wider variety of nutritious and more sustainable food choices.”  One of its goals in offering this item is to cut carbon emissions by offering plant-based food selections.

“We will continue to serve delicious food, offering a taste of Sweden at affordable prices, but with increasing focus on the aspects of food that are really important to people: health and sustainability,” said Michael La Cour, Managing Director of IKEA Food Services AB. “We have high ambitions, and our journey in this direction has just begun. I am proud that we now take the first step and start serving veggie balls.”

Considering that IKEA sells more than one billion meatballs per year, this is a great first step.

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Celebrating Veggie Happy Day

January 8th, 2015

Veggie Happy created Veggie Happy Day as a way to honor and celebrate the power of customer feedback. It’s been our experience that fan feedback at the ballparks played a key role in helping us open the door to vegan options there. Just think if everyone took the time to chime in at the food establishments they frequent (or don’t frequent for that matter, because of the lack of options), what a wave of positive change that could create!

We selected January 10 as Veggie Happy Day (formerly Soy Happy Day) for two reasons:

  1. Major League Baseball stadiums are about to begin the process of reviewing their menus for the coming season, and now is the optimal time for fans to begin chiming in with their suggestions and feedback on vegan food items they want them to either keep, change or add. They’ll be looking at all fan comments and suggestions as part of their considerations starting now through spring training. (Four MLB stadiums remain without a veggie dog/vegan frankfurter on the regular concessions menu as of last season: the Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals.)
  2. It’s a fabulous way to start the new year with a feeling of hope, pride and accomplishment, no matter what food establishments you decide to contact. You might be surprised at the difference your one comment can make!

When you offer your feedback, consider a couple of other things, too. It’s not enough for vegan items to be available; they have to be clearly and easily evident on the menu, and all staff should be aware of their availability and locations. After all, if customers don’t know these options are available, they won’t sell the way they could or should, and are sometimes destined to fail as a result. Veggie Happy has had the unfortunate experience of receiving emails from frustrated fans who know vegan options are supposed to be available at a given stadium (having checked our Venue Vegetarian Guide), but still have a hard time tracking them down. How is that situation going to stimulate any sales?

Recent headlines about McDonalds eschewing veggie burgers because “no one buys them” is another example. They state that they tested veggie burgers in certain markets and didn’t generate adequate sales. First, this was back in 2003, so there’s some catching-up to do, but also, how big a promotion did they create to ensure that customers realized they were available?

Burger King has been offering veggie burgers since 2002 and guess what? Any group of people with a vegetarian in its midst has likely chosen Burger King over McDonalds every time. The Vegetarian Resource Group calls this “the vegetarian veto vote,” and it’s a powerful vote indeed. One person will divert an entire group of diners to another location that offers a viable option for that individual, causing the other establishment to lose out on  “mainstream” customers as well. (It merits noting, by the way, that the BK Veggie Burger is not vegan. It’s a sponsored product, meaning that the brand pays big bucks for the privilege of being named. When sponsorship is involved, it can take a while to change, so all the more reason for them to receive and compile customer requests for a vegan brand instead.)

Chipotle offers a totally different example in its approach to offering vegan options. It has done a fabulous job of actively and widely promoting its new Sofritas menu and ensuring that signage is clear and well positioned so customers recognize it exists. It’s no surprise that their vegan Sofritas are doing well.

The same is true for the ballparks. Seattle’s Safeco Field saw sales of Field Roast vegan frankfurters spike 700% over its previous generic veggie dogs during one season, in part because it promoted the new menu item (including custom vegan topping options) and made sure fans were aware it existed. This should be an example to all ballparks.

Whether you contact a ballpark or another foodservice establishment for Veggie Happy Day, consider these basic questions: Do they offer what you want? If they do, is it easy for all customers to know it’s available? Chime in and let your voice be heard. Sometimes just one fan’s suggestion has made the difference in as large a venue as an MLB or NFL stadium.

Here’s to you, making a difference!

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McDonald’s is changing its menu: veggie burger, anyone?

December 11th, 2014

McDonald’s has announced that it is trimming its menu after a continued decline in U.S. sales. Their sales in November declined by 4.6% with even further declines last week. To reassure investors, the chain is looking to reinvigorate its menu with foods that are considered more wholesome. McDonald’s USA president Mike Andres said they are doing this by looking at ingredients and the way their food is prepared and delivered. The idea is to improve the image of its food and make it more appealing. Starting next month, eight items will be cut from the menu as an initial form of simplification. Other menu ideas are also currently being considered.

So far, McDonald’s has not publicly referenced any plans to introduce a vegan burger, so we are encouraging you to chime in while they are in the mode of reviewing menu items with more “wholesome” ingredients. How about offering the tasty and protein-rich hand-formed vegan burger from Field Roast, which is now available through foodservice distribution?

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Consumer feedback is where it’s at. McDonald’s created a campaign in October called “Our Food, Your Questions” in an attempt to assuage consumer concerns. Consumers can post questions to Twitter there, in addition to reviewing the information posted about their menu items and ingredients.

Consumers may also ask questions or offer feedback on McDonald’s Food & Nutrition contact page (please do so through the link provided here).

The more comments requesting vegan burgers that they get, the veggier the chances they’ll heed them! 

 

 

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Vegan choices on Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2014

Thanksgiving dinner can be a very socially difficult experience for vegetarians and vegans. It’s hard to reconcile what we know about the way most turkeys are raised and treated with the fact that we’re gathering around a table, a large turkey at its center, for the purpose of giving thanks with family and friends. Cruelty is hard to reconcile as the default partner to a holiday focused on gratitude.

Some vegans will opt out of joining those gatherings, choosing to host or attend a cruelty-free gathering instead. Dining with kindred vegans is understandable and certainly far more pleasant and easier on the conscience. It can also be the best gratitude splurge in the world. Still, it doesn’t change anything for those who eat the traditional way. That turkey will still be served; vegan family members just won’t be there to bear witness.

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For other vegans, going it solo or with other vegans is not as clean or clear an option.They may want to be with  family or friends on this special day and don’t want to become isolated by it. Instead of bowing out of traditional gatherings, they might instead opt to bring “special” dishes for themselves and those who might want them. Or they might feast on many of the side dishes together, since that is often plenty of food.

If you’re a vegan at a traditional table, don’t forget that you’re also an example to those around you. That may not be something you’re concerned with, but it matters. People take notice and your food choices are registering in their conscience as doable. Kids at the table will tend to be less inhibited about asking questions or making comments, too. If they do, well there you’ll be with a window, however small and delicate, to explain in brief and friendly terms why it is you choose not to eat turkey. If they make faces and mock what’s on your plate, that’s usually because they’re not familiar with those foods or your way of life. It’s not their fault. Smile, make them feel understood and offer them a taste. You might, just might, be the first person in their life to show them that vegan foods are not only possible, they’re viable.

A thought, anyway.

For your plant-based center-of-the-meal dish, there are a variety of ways you can go. From store-bought and ready-to-go-after-heating options like Field Roast’s Celebration Roast or items from Gardein or Turtle Island Foods, to make-it-yourself dishes made with tempeh, seitan, mushrooms or tofu, there are lots of options to suit your palate. If you want recipes, check 41 delicious vegan Thanksgiving recipes here. You can also search “vegan Thanksgiving recipes” on Google and scroll and peruse away. What’s great is that vegan options are becoming increasingly well-known and popular not just with vegans, but with omnivores (flexitarians) alike.

We do the best with what we’ve got, and it’s good to know we’ve got a lot of vegan goodness to work with now.

Wherever you land on Thanksgiving, here’s to good company and a tasty and Turkey-Free Day.

 

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Meet Laura, our new manager for Kansas City

October 29th, 2014

Royals picHi!

I’m Laura, your vegan, ROYALS fan here in Kansas City, Missouri! 2014 has definitely been an exciting season for our boys in blue!

It’s great to have Veggie Happy assisting sports fans. I’m especially thrilled that our Kansas City area sports stadiums offer a FANtastic variety of veggie food. I enjoy guiding folks to healthier choices as ultimately these choices benefit people, animals, and the planet.

I attended Game 1 of the World Series.  Kansas City is beyond excited!

I attended Game 1 of the World Series. Kansas City is beyond excited!

I’ve been mostly vegetarian since I was 18 years old, I’ve now been mostly vegan for over three years. Food is one of my passions, but the precious animals we save while eating non-meat and non-dairy foods are my heartfelt reason for why I adopted my lifestyle. You can email me through Veggie Happy or feel free to follow me via instagram.

GO ROYALS!!

Laura

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VH in Veg Times’ Vegetarian Movement Highlights

October 23rd, 2014

The November issue of Vegetarian Times Magazine is a special issue celebrating their 40th anniversary. It features 40 highlights of the vegetarian movement to this day, which are also exhibited as The VT Wayback Machine slide show online. Veggie Happy is honored to have been selected as one of those highlights. To be in the company of Farm Sanctuary, Lisa Simpson, Paul & Linda McCartney and other amazing people, organizations and breakthroughs is, well, quite delightful and very appreciated.

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In honor of our 40th anniversary, we’re taking a look back—not just at the early days of Vegetarian Times, but all the way back through vegetarian history in the Western world—to reflect on the highlights of a movement that has been deliciously life-changing. Follow along as we hit the high points of veg history.

Veggie Happy is #27. Here’s what they included: 

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Veggie dogs hit a home run. Soy Happy (now Veggie Happy) kicks off a campaign to bring vegetarian and vegan options to sports stadiums and entertainment venues around the country. At the time, no Major League Baseball stadium carried veggie dogs, a fact that surprised baseball fan and Veggie Happy founder Johanna McCloy. Now, thanks to McCloy’s work with concession-stand managers, we can enjoy veggie dogs at almost every MLB stadium.

Live long and prosper!

 

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Meet Twalla, VH Manager for the TX Rangers

August 14th, 2014
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Twalla at a Rangers game at Globe Life Park

Hi, my name is Twalla (rhymes with Paula) and excited to be Veggie Happy’s Manager and your contact for Globe Life Park. GO RANGERS!

I’ve been a vegetarian for almost two years and following a vegan diet since 2/18/14. I am still transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, one step closer every day.

I have three yorkies that keep me pretty busy. We are advocates to “spay & neuter” and “adopt don’t shop.”

I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions. Feel free to send me an e-email or visit our page on Facebook, Veggie Texas Ranger Fans. Share your pictures and experience with us.

GO RANGERS!!

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We’ve come a long way

August 5th, 2014

That’s a Twitter post from a San Jose Mercury News reporter at Levi’s Stadium, the new home for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, California. To reply or Retweet this, link to his post here.

(The dogs are actually vegan frankfurters from Field Roast.)

Enjoy!

 

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Special dairy-free ice cream coupon for June!

June 10th, 2014

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Sweet Jane’s Frozen Desserts in Astoria, New York is offering Veggie Happy fans a special deal: Get a free second scoop of ice cream with any dairy-free ice cream purchase during the month of June! 

Let us share some of the fabulous dairy free ice cream flavors sold there to date (they change regularly):

Soy based flavors: Papaya, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Caramel Swirl, Banana, Gingerbread, Coffee, Mai Tai, Thai Curry, Chai Latte

Almond based flavors: Pure Chocolate

Coconut based flavors: Coconut Basil, Mai Tai

They also make dairy free fudgesicles.

Have we whet your appetite?  The vegan community is all abuzz about this place only one week after its grand opening. Get over there and use your Veggie Happy discount!

Sweet Jane’s is located at 27-17 24th Avenue, Astoria, NY, 11102. Click to link to their Facebook page for hours and more detailed information.

(Note that select, traditional ice cream is also sold there, but the dairy free versions are all made on premises. This coupon is only valid for the dairy-free flavors of ice cream.)

* Print this post to use as your coupon and present it at the store. * 

Enjoy!  

 

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