Part of PETA's ongoing strategic direction is to buy up stock in major fast food and retailing chains focusing on meat. This gives it room at the table in which it can put forward the argument of reducing meat options and/or increasing plant-based ones.
Owning 39 shares in Domino's, the organisation recently pushed forward a proposal to include plant-based cheese and meat options on the Domino's menu.
The board turned down the proposal, giving it only 1% backing.
Citing the example of an Israeli Domino's which introduced vegan pizza and received only a 1.2% sales boost, they simply felt it wouldn't be viable.
This is a myopic view that is, unfortunately, prevalent among major restaurant chains. A company like Domino's especially would benefit from this move, as pizza toppings are a minor change in the production process of the pizzas. You literally store them in a tub, and chuck them on when someone orders. Yes, there's a spoilage risk, but that's the case with anything. Let's say you decide to offer chorizo on a pizza because of some demand. What percentage of pizza must be sold to warrant this? It's an exercise of supply and demand, and the levels will even themselves out after a short amount of time.
Domino's also stated it would be unviable to introduce this to all 5000 stores across the US. Then don't? Domino's is a franchised operation, and it would be simple to introduce a roll-out in certain states first - California, New York, Massachusetts - and see how it goes from there. This is a similar strategy to Subway's vegan option roll out, starting in just 8 stores in a single state.
Most importantly, for Domino's business, is recognising that this is an untapped market, and a loud one at that. For most vegans, plant-based eating goes beyond just their diet to some core values around morality and/or health, and they will vocally support moves towards vegan options in Domino's in a big way.
As for Domino's, shouldn't they be crying out for a 1.2% sales boost? An untapped market is exactly what they need in a time when they're facing heavy competition from the likes of Papa John's. This isn't about them introducing vegan options to please their current customers; it's about reaching an entirely new customer base at minimal effort. And it's a growing market too, pushed by some extremely powerful and unstoppable forces such as the environment and personal health.
With large chains like Chipotle leading the charge towards mainstream vegan options, it'll only be a matter of years before companies understand the need to introduce such options onto their menu. Veganism is becoming mainstream, and has been recognised as the best dietary shift for long term health in a recent independent government committee research paper.
When will other chains catch up, and will we ever see a vegan Big Mac?!