Andrew Infantino is the son of Rio Infantino, founder and CEO of Canadian plant-based restaurant chain Copper Branch. He is also Director of Marketing for the hugely successful chain, which recently announced their expansion out of Canada and into the USA for the coming months, as well as a total of 150 additional franchise outlets.
Andrew has led the Copper Branch brand and developed the company’s identity to “ultimately make change in the Food Industry.” Here he explains their mission and offers his insight as a business insider in the fast-growing plant-based restaurant world.
The Food Revolution Starts Here.
Plant-based eating is on the rise and plant-based innovations are changing the future of food as we know it. According to GlobalData, there has been a 600% increase in Americans who identify as vegans in the last three years and, per FoodNavigator-USA, 38% of all Americans eat meatless meals at least once a week. Adopting more of a plant-based diet has tremendous benefits, not only for our health; promoting weight loss and overall longevity of life, but for our planet as a whole as well.
Researchers at the University of Oxford found that plant-based diets reduce food emissions by up to 73% and a staggering 7.6 billion less farmland would be needed. “This would take pressure off the world’s tropical forests and release land back to nature,” says lead researcher and Doctor of Philosophy and Environmental Research at University of Oxford, Joseph Poore. In addition to the factory farming and animal welfare aspects, key environmental benefits of a plant-based diet include the reduction of overall carbon footprint, improved water conservation and air quality, and reduction in ocean dead zones.
“The dangers of fast food are well documented: Portions are often larger, and the food is generally high in calories and low in nutrients. Now, University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers have examined the eating habits of residents in Singapore and found new evidence that a diet heavy in fast food increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease” (School of Public Health, University of Minnesota). With the known dangers associated with fast food, consumers are looking for healthier alternatives in the quick-serve industry. This is where Copper Branch powerfully makes its stand. We offer a 100% plant-based menu with a wide selection of meal choices suitable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We support a diet that is focused on clean, nutrient-dense, and wholesome eating. “Research shows that diets centered on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes have the power to prevent, and sometimes even reverse, serious chronic diseases. In recent studies, plant-based diets have proven effective at reversing heart disease, boosting brain health, treating type 2 diabetes, reducing migraine pain, and leading to the most weight loss when compared to other diets. Plant-based diets can even help keep energy levels up and stress levels down” (Dr. Neal Barnard).
Health food trends have been extremely prominent in modern Western society. Studies demonstrating the importance of food on health are continuously being released and consumers have, more than ever, a conscious understanding of this relationship. Obesity and disease are of increasing medical concern, especially in more developed countries, where lack of physical fitness and unhealthy nutrition cause an increasing number of preventable deaths. Along with the major health-trends in the food industry, awareness of meat production’s environmental implications is also bringing more people to plant-based foods.
Food studies have ultimately proven the importance of food and diet on our health. It has become mainstream consumer knowledge that consuming more plant-based foods is extremely beneficial toward one’s health. More consumers than ever are following the trend of healthy eating and the demand for ‘healthy’ food products is explosive.
Amongst these powerful trends, a powerful business opportunity is at hand. Vegan products are increasingly becoming sought after and the market for vegan, organic and health-focused are perhaps more lucrative than ever before. Within our industry is a growing base of vegan options like vegan cheeses, milk substitutes, vegan meat alternatives, and much more that are increasingly being sold in grocery stores and restaurants alike.
The overall business opportunity for plant-based foods is incredible with demand and brand loyalty at an all-time high.