Alter Agency Logo | London | Dublin | Jeddah locations.


It wasn’t too long ago that a burger or hot dog was just about the only grub on offer for the hungry festival goer to consume alongside their pint of lager. 

These days, it’s a completely different story.

Just take a look at last month’s Glastonbury Festival. Attendees had over 400 food stalls to choose from before making a decision on what to have for dinner – from Yorkshire puddings to Tibetan curries, the menu was almost endless.

Visit any self-respected event in the UK this summer, in fact, and not only are you likely to be confronted by a mightily impressive selection to curb your appetite and quench your thirst, but also by an array of options that lend themselves to a healthier lifestyle and to a more eco-friendly way of living.

Think meatless sausages, vegan fried ‘chicken’ and beetroot burgers that bleed, alongside non-alcoholic beers, canned wines and calorie-light ‘hard seltzers’, such as sparkling water infused with alcohol. The traditional heavyweights of beef burgers, beer and the like are not short in competitors.

The above are just a few of the options that will be found across the nation’s menus at events this summer, reflecting a wider shift in consumer behaviour in which many are opting for food and drink choices that will make them feel both better about themselves and the environment.

Here at ALTER we’ve seen it at first hand recently. Just last week we were working alongside a client at Longitude Festival in Dublin where there were vegan and healthy options in abundance.

It’s a revolution that most are slowly getting on board with, but one that is being spearheaded by the youth of today – Gen Z.

Typically a more image-conscious generation, having known little of a world before social media, the healthier way of life is often the most commonly trodden path, with fewer feeling the need to turn to alcohol to get their kicks as those gone before them have.

This, alongside growing concerns about the human race’s impact on the environment, is helping to fuel the demand for alternatives to meat and traditional alcoholic beverages.

According to Waitrose’s Food & Drink Report 2018-19, one in eight Britons are now vegetarian or vegan, while a third of UK consumers have deliberately reduced the amount of meat they eat or have removed it from their diet entirely. Expect these figures to rise when the 2019-20 report is released this autumn.

Across the pond in the United States, in a land where burgers and beer have traditionally long reigned supreme, there’s a similar pattern.

Last year’s Independence Day celebrations saw sales of plant-based meat alternatives rise 11% from 2017 levels, as opposed to beef which edged up just 2.1% in comparison. Beer sales, meanwhile, dipped 1.6% as canned wine sales rose 57% and hard seltzers leapt a massive 150%. According to the FT, executives are expecting more of the same this year following the recent Independence Day celebrations.

Events across the UK are taking note, spurning traditional food and drink for the many new alternatives available.

Gen Z’s needs are being met and in doing so they are influencing the wider consumer landscape.

And if that means there’s more on offer at a festival than a crusty burger or soggy hotdog, and small steps are being taken to save the planet at the same time, then everyone’s a winner.

Go to Top