It's a whole new world, at least that’s what it seems like in the world of Veganism. The statistics speak volumes, Veganism is not only growing around the world but at an astonishing speed.
The Great British Larder were intrigued and decided to dive a bit deeper into veganism and see what the noise is about; understand how food suppliers, restaurants, and consumers are adapting - even embracing - these changes. Are they jumping on this preverbal vegan train? Or a passing fad?
Let's find out.
Here are 5 surprising statistics for you to ponder
An increasing number of companies, backed by mega companies and billionaire individuals, are ploughing money into research to study veganism – creating new products such as ‘meat free meat’ and studying how affect the global economy and environment.
Here are some fact and numbers we found surprising, perhaps you will too!
1. Veganism has exploded by 360 per cent in Great Britain over the last decade
With no recent official polling in place, last year The Vegan Society teamed up with Vegan Life magazine to undertake the most extensive survey to date in order to find out how many vegans there are (over the age of 15) in Great Britain.
Official stats put the number at least 542,000 - a whopping 360 per cent increase on the 150,000 a decade previously - making veganism the country's fastest growing lifestyle movement.
Jasmijn de Boo, CEO of The Vegan Society at the time of polling, said:
"To have over half a million vegans in Britain is fantastic. More people than ever before are acting upon the health and environmental benefits of veganism, and finding out what really goes on in the meat and dairy industries and deciding they do not want to contribute to the pain and suffering of animals."
2.The global meat-alternative market will be worth $5.2 billion by 2020
Another 2016 report by a market research firm shows the massive interest in animal-free products, with Allied Market Research predicting that in just three short years the global meat-alternative market will reach a massive $5.2 billion.
At the time the research was undertaken, Europe was the biggest marketplace for these products, generating 39 per cent of the global revenue.
The study predicted that the Asia-Pacific meat substitute market would witness the biggest growth with compound annual growth rate of 10.1 per cent compared to the sector's annual compound growth of 8.4 per cent.
Researchers highlighted key brands including Beyond Meat, VBites and Amy's Kitchen among others.
3.The global non-dairy milk market is predicted to reach nearly $11 billion by 2019
There are a number of reasons consumers choose to eschew cow's milk - and all of them are contributing to the massive growth in the dairy-alternative sector.
In addition, a 2011 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that dairy milk drink sales had halved since the 1980s.
Now the plant-milk sector is poised to hit almost $11 billion by 2019 according to a report from BCC Research - up from $5.8 billion in 2014.
BCC Research analyst Shalini Dewan said:
"More consumers may be choosing plant-based options either because of personal preference or because of recommendations from health or nutrition professionals. Consumers continue to seek plant-based beverages."
At the same time, they are becoming more interested in plant-based options for milk that offer great taste combined with the nutrients that can be found in cow's milk."</bq>
4. Vegan products grew by 92 per cent in Australia last year
A report by Mintel market analysts earlier this year showed a truly heart-warming 92 per cent rise in the number of products labelled as 'vegan'.
The research follows a survey which showed one in seven Aussies said they intended to avoid red meat in 2016.
Laura Jones, Trend and Innovation Consultant at Mintel, said:
“Although Australia is still one of the largest meat eating populations globally, health and environmental concerns, along with cost have changed Australians’ attitudes when it comes to meat consumption.
Australians have become more mindful in recent years of the amount of meat and the frequency of which they eat meat.”
5. UK Plant-based foods sales are up 1,500 per cent in the last year
Last year saw a truly impressive rise in the number of vegan food sales - with epic 1,500 growth.
The trend was put down to both an increase in the number of people following a vegan diet as well as more people following the 'flexitarian' trend and cutting down on their meat intake.
"Consumer appetite for vegan-friendly foods in the UK is showing no sign of slowing down, as ‘flexitarianism’ emerges as the key trend of the moment," says Jacques Thudichum, Buying Manager – chilled prepared foods at retailer ocado.com who released the info.
We’ve listened to our customers and have hugely expanded our vegan selection this year, adding new and exciting products each week to become one of our strongest categories.”</bq>
BUSINESS AND FOOD SALES - HERE ARE THE STATS:
In case you’re wondering if it is in fact time to jump on board this fast vegan train, we’ve got some amazing numbers to show you below.
- The total value of the UK plant-based market was £443m in 2018.
- The UK market for meat-free foods was reportedly worth £572m in 2017.
- The UK meat-free market is estimated to grow from £559m in 2016 to £658m in 2021. Source: Mintel ‘meat free food’ report, UK, May 2017
- The global market for vegetarian/vegan products was worth $51 billion in 2016.
- One in six products launched in the UK in 2018 carried a vegan claim.
- Vegetarian and vegan baby food is predicted to grow by 10.6% between 2016-2021.
- The global vegan cheese market is expected to skyrocket to almost $4bn by 2024.
- Through January 2018, one in 10 shoppers bought a meat-free ready meal, boosting sales by 15% compared to January 2017.
- Waitrose launched dedicated vegan sections in more than 130 stores after increasing its vegan and vegetarian product range by 60%.
- Meat substitutes grew by 451% in the European market in the four years to February 2018.
- Between 2012 and 2016 there was a 185% increase in the number of vegan products launched in the UK.
- Online grocer Ocado enjoyed a staggering 1,678% increase in sales within its 'vegan' category between 2015 and 2016.
- Dairy milk sales fell by around £240m between 2014 and 2016 in the UK.
- Demand for vegan and vegetarian ready meals and snacks at Tesco grew by 40% from 2016 to 2017.
- Fresh meat sales fell by £328m throughout 2016, a 7.3% decline (beef sales down £72m, pork lost £62m, sausages £51m, poultry £49m and lamb £21m). Cheese went down by £70m (2.8%). Free-from foods rose by £123m, with Alpro adding another £23m.
- Sainsbury’s sales of its vegan cheeses surpassed the company’s predictions by 300%.
- Veggie Pret was turning 70% profits increase within its first two weeks of operation, despite predictions that they would drop by up to 30%.
- The amount of 'meat products' bought by families – sausages, bacon, poultry and meat-based ready meals – fell by almost 7% between 2012 and 2017.
IMPORTANT GOOGLE TRENDS YOU SHOULD SEE
Supermarkets are staying on-trend
Supermarket chains in the UK are stocking more vegan options to keep up with consumers' food choices.
Waitrose recently launched a dedicated vegan section in more than 130 shops, while Iceland reported that sales of its plant-based food have risen by 10% over the last year.
The UK market for meat-free foods was reportedly worth £572m in 2017, according to market researchers Mintel, up from £539m only two years earlier.
Did Social Media play a part in this massive wave of Veganism?
Social media has had a big part to play in the rise of the plant-based lifestyle.
Celebrities like Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Ellen DeGeneres are some of the well-known figures who don't eat animal products, while #vegan has more than 61 million posts listed on Instagram.
Veganism is a hot topic - the number of Google searches worldwide has also spiked in recent years.
The search engine uses a number out of 100 to represent interest in a search term. In 2008, the word "veganism" had a popularity score of only 17 but it has increased to 88 only 10 years later.
The top five most-searched questions on the topic in the UK ask what veganism is and what the arguments are for and against cutting out animal products.
Giles Quick, director at market researcher Kantar Worldpanel, said: "The vegan market has changed fundamentally in the last six or seven years - it's now for everyone.
"Social media has brought it to the forefront of customer's minds, and the mainstream. It's not seen any more as a choice for life, but as a choice for one meal, one moment, for one or two days a week."
Flexitarianism, part-time vegetarianism or veganism, is becoming more and more popular. This January, more than 168,000 people pledged to go vegan for the first month of the year, under the Veganuary campaign.
Why are more people going vegan?
According to analysts, young women are driving the growth of the vegan movement.
But, a range of reasons lie behind veganism's rise.
Through January, one in 10 shoppers bought a meat-free ready meal, boosting sales by 15% compared to this time last year.
Sales of vegetables, such as spinach and aubergine, are also up 43% and 23% respectively, compared to the last 12 months.
Tesco is one of a growing number of retailers and high street chains looking to cater for the growing appetite for veganism, with new product ranges.
But both the supermarket's dairy and its produce lines - fruit and vegetables - saw the greatest sales growth, according to Kantar.
"Around the world we are seeing a significant increase in meat-reduction diets, including both flexitarianism and veganism," said Quorn Foods CEO, Kevin Brennan.
But the rise in plant-based food hasn't affected the British meat industry as much as some would expect.
In fact, the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) says in the short term, meat sales are increasing.
In another report, Kantar's analysis shows that 0.9% more meat and poultry and 2.9% more processed meat and poultry (like bacon and sausages) was bought over the 2017 festive period than the previous Christmas.
While the AHDB - funded by farmers and growers - recognises the growth of flexitarians - who are reducing their meat consumption overall - it says most people are still enjoying meat dishes at the weekend or replacing red meat with fish or chicken.
In the long term, it said, meat-eating has slowed, but just 0.2% of meat and fish buyers stopped doing so last year.