Nearly half of hosts panic when Vegans RSVP to their summer barbecue

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A study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Sabra examined the summer hosting habits and behaviors of 2,000 Americans. (Photo by Nicholas Peloso on Unsplash)

Summer is time to chow down at a good old-fashioned American barbecue, but what about the vegans?

A new study examined how the traditional concept of barbecue season accommodates those with meat-free and alternative diets and explored the lengths hosts go to in order to cater to guests with dietary restrictions.

When they hear the vegans are coming, 47 percent of hosts are likely to panic or get nervous during their event planning, according to the results.

Furthermore, men are more likely than women to stress about pleasing their guests with dietary restrictions (52 percent vs. 40 percent).

The study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Sabra examined the summer hosting habits and behaviors of 2,000 Americans and discovered that two in five expect to host a guest with dietary restriction this summer barbecue season.

While 58 percent of Americans have a family member that eats vegan, vegetarian or both, 71 percent hope their guests with dietary restrictions will be fine with celery sticks and “get by” with what is already offered at a barbecue.

Four out of five Americans believe they are accommodating to those who eat vegan.

The top five go-to dishes hosts put out if they want to please everyone, even the vegans, are: salad, grilled vegetables, fruit, corn and refrigerated or fresh dips likes hummus. And more than 70 percent of barbecue hosts and guests with restrictive diets say they would be happy to see hummus on the menu. More than 46 percent already put it out.

That’s not enough to please, however, as over half (52 percent) of Americans with dietary restrictions admit to sneaking their own food into barbecues to keep stomach growls on low volume.

Despite being the most annoyed (53 percent) with hosting a guest who eats vegan or has another dietary restriction, those aged 24–35 also think it’s rude to sneak your own food into a barbecue (69 percent).

Their parents (those 55+) were both the least likely to become annoyed at hosting a vegan and largely disagree — reporting that it’s not at all rude to “BYOF (bring your own food).”

The top challenge hosts will face this barbecue season is making sure the food offered is tasty (48 percent).

“Hummus is a crowd pleaser,” said Sara Braca, marketing director at Sabra. “Not only is it easy to share hummus as a dip, but you can really wow vegan and meat-loving guests alike this barbecue season by topping a flatbread with hummus and roasted vegetables warmed up on the grill. Hummus is as versatile as it is delicious — there is really no wrong way to enjoy it!”

Next in line for the biggest challenges facing barbecue hosts this year is a tie between providing a variety of options (47 percent) and making sure guests with restrictive diets have enough food (47 percent).

Other top challenges include knowing what each of their guests can or cannot have (45 percent) and making sure vegan options can be enjoyed by everyone (42 percent).

Of those surveyed with a dietary restriction, half reported feeling judged by their host during a barbecue.

The top worry of diet restricted guests is having enough tasty food options (58 percent).

However, both hosts and those with dietary restrictions are happy to see hummus on the menu at a barbecue. Seventy-two percent of hosts are excited about having hummus on their menus while those with dietary restrictions are elated when hummus is served at a barbecue with nearly 4 in 5 people with dietary restrictions revealing they are happy when seeing some hummus on the table at a barbecue.

Sabra is kicking off the busy summer barbecue season by coming to the rescue of panicked barbecue hosts nationwide. They can call 1–866-Code-Vegan or visit for recipes, inspiration and, while supplies last, free Vegan Rescue Kits featuring vegan barbecue flatbread recipes, product coupons and quirky laptop stickers all designed to remind vegans and meat-lovers alike that the answer to your menu challenges is already in your fridge! Grab the hummus, because the vegans are coming!” continued Braca.

Easiest Diets to Accommodate

  1. Vegetarian 61%
  2. Vegan 54%
  3. Gluten-free 47%
  4. Keto 42%
  5. Paleo 41%
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Top Diets in America

  1. Carnivore 47%
  2. Vegetarian 16%
  3. Pescatarian 13%
  4. Flexitarian 9%
  5. Other Diet 7%
  6. Vegan 5%
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Top 10 Go-To Safe Foods

  1. Salad 72%
  2. Grilled vegetables 67%
  3. Fruit 65%
  4. Corn 50%
  5. Refrigerated/fresh dips 46%
  6. Meatless hamburgers 46%
  7. Hummus 46%
  8. Crudite (raw vegetables) 45%
  9. Crackers 44%
  10. Meatless hot dogs 38%
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Top Challenges Hosts Face

  1. Making sure the food offered is tasty 48%
  2. Providing a variety of options for everyone 47%
  3. Making sure guests have enough food to eat 47%
  4. Knowing what a guest with a dietary restriction can or can’t have 45%
  5. Making sure vegan options can be enjoyed by all 42%
  6. Knowing how to cook food items that they aren’t used to cooking 38%
  7. Making sure cross-contamination doesn’t occur 31%
  8. Buying more than initially expected 29%
  9. Confusing the vegan hamburgers with the real ones 22%
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Most Annoying Questions to ask Someone with a Dietary Restriction

  1. How do you do it? 48%
  2. Do you get enough protein? 43%
  3. Aren’t you hungry all the time? 43%
  4. Do you miss foods you can’t eat? 34%
  5. How long have you eaten this way? 28%
  6. Why do you choose to eat this way? 27%
  7. Are you trying to lose weight? 21%
  8. Is this a fad? 19%
  9. Are you just fussy? 17%

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

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