According to the Vegan Society, last year alone at least 542,000 Britons considered themselves vegan, up from about 150,000 10 years ago. Although more than one in 10 (11%) of UK consumers have tried a vegan diet, that figure rises to 20% for the under-35s.
Thanks to celebrities championing the health lifestyle, veganism is close to entering the mainstream. From Ellie Goulding and Emma Watson, to Brad Pitt and Beyoncé, they’re having an incredible influence on the younger generation. Close to half of all vegans are aged 15-34 (42%), compared with just 14% who are over 65. And when The Guardian conducted a study asking people about being vegan, 67% of the 474 who replied were under 34, and more than one-sixth were teenagers.
Between 2012 and 2016, there was a 185% jump in the number of vegan products launched in the UK, while 9% of food products launched in the UK in last year carried a vegan claim, up from 3% in 2012.
This indicates growth is likely to rise further in the future. In total an estimated 3.25 percent of the British population, around 1.68 million people, are currently either vegetarian or vegan.
So, what’s been the trigger? Research by 1010 Data, a data insights company revealed that consumers are getting more conscious. They’re mindful of the products they put in and on their bodies, and of the environmental impact they have. As this consciousness increases, manufacturers are taking note and over the past couple of years, the number of products that include ‘plant-based’ in the item name has increased online. Searches for ‘plant-based’ tripled from 2016 to 2017 during March – July. Consumers have bought 2.7x more plant-based products online than they did in January 2016 and it appeared that growth really escalated in March 2017, which is when a popular documentary, What the Health, was released.
The figures are not surprising. Especially when advocates of plant-based eating say vegans typically have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, a lower body mass index, and reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer. Environmental and welfare issues are also contributing to the swelling numbers turning away from food sourced from animals.
From ditching the dairy, to replacing your ‘tested on animals’ perfume, it’s the little steps that will make this world a better place. And where better place to start than at ethea.co.uk? Join the movement. Join Ethea.