KALE YEAH! is a loyalty scheme to encourage students to embrace a more plant-based diet.

A pilot project ran at Portsmouth University from September 2018.

This guide is for anyone wanting to set up a similar scheme in another university, college or workplace canteen.

Background - why the need?

Meat and dairy production have a huge impact – on the planet, on climate emissions, our health and animal welfare.

In the UK the amount of meat we eat is twice the global average. We need to cut that in half by 2030 to meet climate goals, and improve our health. 'Less and better' meat and dairy is key.

Veganism and flexitarianism are on the rise. But there are still social and cultural barriers to eating less meat.

Kale Yeah! in Portsmouth

How does it work?

Students buy 6 veggie/vegan main meals or sandwiches to earn a free meal which can be veggie, fish or meat.

Offering the choice aims to engage meat-eaters and is non-judgemental.

Staff and students swipe their existing electronic loyalty card at the tills to log their rewards.

Key learnings

Great-tasting veggie/vegan food was on the menu from launch.

Key decision makers in catering championed Kale Yeah! and enthused front-line staff.

Student ambassadors helped promote the scheme with eye-catching posters, stickers and t-shirts in cafes and around the site.

Initial IT support available to programme tills.


Student satisfaction is important for universities and helps offset cost implications. Ordering in more veg and less meat reduces cost of offering free meals.

Existing electronic card system makes it easier (but paper version would work). Start monitoring the term before to get baseline sales data and measure impact. 

Marketing plan and student ambassadors are needed for ongoing support.