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The idea of defaults—and their powerful impact on behavior—was popularized in Nudge by Harvard professor Cass Sunstein and Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler. Put simply, humans tend to go along with the status quo; whatever is default is what most people will select simply because choosing another option requires expending an additional resource, be that effort, time, or money.

Most of us grew up in cultures where animal-derived foods were the default: in most meals, meat is the norm, eggs are common, and dairy is automatically included.

Our response? Flip food norms so people have to opt in to animal products rather than having to opt out.

DefaultVeg is a simple and inclusive way to offer healthier, greener, and more inclusive meals by nudging consumers toward plant-based options. DefaultVeg dining features plant-based foods as the default while still giving diners the choice to opt for animal products.

Over the last decade, we, our partners, and researchers have experimented to identify the most effective ways to shift to plant-based foods in a variety of dining settings. The result is a collection of tips and tools we recommend as DefaultVeg strategies.

More DefaultVeg Strategies

Where can DefaultVeg be used?

The short answer is that DefaultVeg can be used anywhere food is served, and is scaling change across our food system.

DefaultVeg strategies are transforming food across entire industries and sectors. Learn about how these industries and sectors have embraced plant-centered dining using plant-based defaults.

DefaultVeg Wins & Impact

DefaultVeg’s widespread wins and impact are a testament to the strategy’s broad appeal. In private and public sectors, on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, people across sectors, ages, faiths, professions, cultures, and ideologies are discovering the power of DefaultVeg. Here is a snapshot of those stories.

DefaultVeg’s Impact

How we Partner

We partner with NGOs, businesses, educators, food service leaders and policymakers to spread and scale DefaultVeg strategies throughout our food system. We’re part of a growing ecosystem of experts, advocates and changemakers who are helping make plant-based foods the norm across different industries and sectors.

More on how we partner