In the ’80s, a New York restaurant called Veggie Express opened a new meat-centric concept called Ultra-Intense.
A couple years later, the company sold its meat-free empire to the same firm.
Today, veggie products dominate the menus at a dozen or so New York restaurants.
Some of the biggest players in the vegan market include the iconic burger chain Burger King and McDonald’s.
In 2016, VeggieExpress opened a second plant in the United States and the chain has expanded its presence by expanding into China, Latin America and Australia.
As more restaurants try to make meat-friendly offerings, they’re starting to see a pushback from customers who believe the meat is more expensive and that veggie food is inferior.
They’re also seeing a backlash from the food industry, which is increasingly trying to distance itself from meat products and is worried about a backlash that could result in lost sales and consumer anger.
For some, the veggie backlash is a harbinger of the future.
The meat-focused chain Veggie is a new entrant in the meat-and-fiber-free market.
Veggie has been selling meat-heavy meals since 2009, but it’s the first American company to open a plant in a country where veggie consumption is low.
A year ago, Veggy was one of only three American food chains to make the Top 50 list of the U.N.’s World Food Prize for best meat-based product.
Veggies have also made the Top 25 of the Top 100 food brands list, according to the International Food Information Council.
Some veggie eaters say the company is not a true alternative to meat.
They point to the fact that Veggie also sells a line of chicken nuggets, a popular snack that vegans can enjoy with a veggie burger.
The company also sells salads, soups and frozen desserts.
“I don’t know if it’s an ethical decision,” said Kim Dickson, an executive chef at the popular food truck, Veggies.
“But I would like to see veggie foods be part of every menu.”
Dickson said the company doesn’t make any decisions about the products that it sells.
She said Veggie does not sell any meat- or dairy-based products.
“We’re a meat company.
We sell meat- and dairy-free products, but we don’t sell meat,” Dickson told The Washington Post.
The veggie industry has struggled to catch on in the U and abroad.
While veggie meat is available in a few high-end restaurants and on the menu at McDonalds, Veggos sales are not that big.
In the U, the top 50 restaurants that sell veggie burgers, chicken nugget soups, salads and frozen treats, were mostly vegetarian.
The top 50 veggie restaurants in the country were mostly steak restaurants, but most veggie-only restaurants had a handful of veggie options.
For the second straight year, Veggerans business grew by just 3 percent last year.
In 2018, the average restaurant had about 8,500 people in it, down from 10,000 in 2017.
A number of other food companies have also struggled to gain traction in the new meat industry.
McDonalds recently opened a plant outside of Atlanta that will sell its veggie offerings to Chinese restaurants.
Subway has also expanded into a meat-oriented segment.
In a separate report from the UBS food bank, which tracks the food sector, the number of vegetarians in the world increased to 13.7 percent last month from 10.6 percent in 2016.
The number of vegans increased by 0.9 percent last week.
The UBS report noted that the number is not much different than the trend of the past few decades, which has seen a rise in vegetarians over the last two decades.
“The vegetarian population has been growing faster than the general population,” said James McBride, UBS’ chief economist.
The decline in veggie popularity is largely due to changes in the economy and social attitudes toward meat, he said.
“Veggie’s the thing that will drive that growth,” he said, adding that it’s “the biggest thing in the restaurant industry.”
It’s also changing how vegans feel about meat, McBride said.
The popularity of veg is changing people’s attitudes toward eating meat, said Rachael Mims, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania.
“When people start getting into it more and eating it more, they can actually be a lot more selective,” Mims said.
She points to an article published last year in the journal Food Communication as an example of a restaurant that changed its meat menu after finding out it was becoming more vegetarian.
“People began to ask themselves, ‘Can I still eat that?'”
Mims told The Post.
A spokesperson for Veggie declined to comment for this article