KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • We’re paying more attention to how we eat than ever, yet major cities don’t have enough fast-food options for plant-based diets.
  • Healthy eating is just part of a broader wellness lifestyle, but options are thin
  • A unique consortium of shops in downtown New York offers a full suite of programs and dining options to help rejuvenate your mind and body that could provide a model for what cities can encourage to keep up with stressed and tired professional populations.

A growing portion of consumers are seeking out meat-free meals these days. In fact, more than one-third of Americans now choose to always or sometimes eats vegetarian meals when eating out.


Plant-based diets are a recipe for health, which also boosts productivity. Yet a trip down most city streets, especially in crowded areas where office-workers gather, show that city planners and major corporations have shown very little interest in encouraging fast-food options that are not Big Macs or expensive, $13 salads. Even plant-based burgers can leave vegetarians flummoxed, with calorie counts coming in over 700 calories each.

One option is that cities can work to attract more healthy fast-food restaurants. Another option, however, is to look towards the model created by a group of businesses clustered together in New York’s trendy East Village neighborhood called Kollectiv.

Under the umbrella of one multi-purpose wellness center, urban dwellers can find a suite of accessible luxury: Spa treatments, juices and foods all geared to health. They include cryotherapy, infrared saunas, specialists in herbal healing, and — importantly — filling, healthy vegetarian food.

Not all urban residents have the time, or the money, to seek out spa services and specially prepared food, but for growing professional classes, spending on beauty, wellness and self-care is consistently growing. Smart investors will bet on more businesses that group together under the rubric of wellness.

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