Why the Global Rise in Vegan and Plant-Based Eating Isn’t A Fad
Get an overview of vegan statistics from around the world. See why so many people are going vegan and eating plant-based — from athletes to celebrities to everyday people. The rise of plant-based diets is here to stay.
Diets that limit or exclude meat, dairy products, and eggs used to be on the fringe and were seen as fads. Identifying as vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based was often viewed as weird or extreme — more the domain of hippies and activists than of large numbers of everyday people.
Until recently, references to vegan eating in the mainstream media were often negative. And meat-free food options weren’t universally available or appetizing. But now, all that is changing.
Much of the world is trending towards plant-based eating — and this global shift could be here to stay.
Millennials are central drivers of this worldwide shift away from consuming animal products. But the plant-based movement is bigger than any one generation. Everyone from celebrities to athletes to entire companies including Google and countries as big as China are supporting the movement to eat more plant-based foods.
Plant-based eating may not be entirely mainstream yet. But it’s becoming more accepted every day. And this trend is having far-reaching impacts.
Vegan Statistics: Incredible Signs the Global Demand for Plant-Based Foods Is Rising
First of all, according to a forecast report by restaurant consultancy group Baum + Whiteman in New York, “plant-based” will be the food trend of 2018. The report also anticipates that plant-based foods will become the new organic.
In addition, Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, predicts that plant-based foods will continue to grow and … this trend is “here to stay.”
Another company, international delivery service Just Eat named veganism as a top consumer trend in 2018 — due to a 94% increase in “healthy food ordered.”
And similarly, according to data released by GrubHub, the top takeaway marketplace in the U.S., orders for plant-based food have reached a new high. In particular, users chose vegan food 19% more in the first half of 2017 than in the first half of 2016.
Here’s more compelling proof to prove the global demand for plant-based foods is increasing:
- Search data from Google Trends shows an impressive worldwide increase in the interest in veganism from 2004 to 2018. Top regions include Israel, Australia, Canada, Austria, and New Zealand.
- There’s been a 600% increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S in the last three years. According to a report by research firm GlobalData, only 1% of U.S. consumers claimed to be vegan in 2014. And in 2017, that number rose to 6%.
- In the UK, the number of people identifying as vegans has increased by 350%, compared to a decade ago, according to research commissioned by the Vegan Society in partnership with Vegan Life magazine.
- Veganism was a top search trend in Canada in 2017. And the preliminary draft of Canada’s new Food Guide, released in 2017 by the Canadian government, favors plant-based foods.
- In Portugal, vegetarianism rose by 400% in the last decade. This is according to research carried out by Nielsen.
- Plant-based diets are growing across Asia. New dietary guidelines released by the Chinese government encourage the nation’s 1.3 billion people to reduce their meat consumption by 50%. Research predicts that China’s vegan market will grow more than 17% between 2015 and 2020. And in Hong Kong, 22% of the population reports practicing some form of a plant-based diet.
- In Australia, between 2014 and 2016, the number of food products launched carrying a vegan claim rose by 92%. And Australia is the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world.
- Mainstream health organizations are recommending a plant-based diet. Including, among others: Kaiser Permanente, the largest healthcare organization in the U.S.; the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee; and the American Institute for Cancer Research.
- Even Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is asking its suppliers to offer more plant-based products.