The sheer rise in the number of signups, coupled with the latest vegan burger release from Burger King just two days prior, saw the steep rise in veganism’s popularity once again brought in for analysis by the general media.
Thanks to that analysis, some incredible vegan statistics have been brought to life which show the sheer trajectory of growth that veganism has experienced since it was first recognised by Donald Watson back in 1944.
Have a read of the best ones below!
Great Britain Becomes a Vegan Haven
Between 2014 and 2019 the number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled. In 2014 only 150,000 people, that’s 0.25% of the population, attested to following a vegan lifestyle. 2016 saw an additional 126,000 people turn to veganism, resulting in a total 276,000 people (now 0.46% of the population).
However three years later saw the most notable jump. In 2019 an incredible 600,000 people attested to now following the vegan lifestyle - making it 1.16% of the population!
This may be to do with the fact that 42% of all UK vegans identified 2018 as the year that they made the change.
Off of the back of this growth, major cities such as Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff and Norwich were all recognised as vegan-friendly cities and saw an influx in visitors according to research.
2020 Saw Veganism Boom in Stores
2020 may have been an awful year for most, but a shining light was that it became a great year for veganism in retail. In 2020 every single one of the UK’s top supermarkets (judged by revenue) officially had their own vegan range.
Tesco especially revealed a target of a 300% rise in vegan meat sales, and committed to selling more plant based sausages, burgers and products designed to emulate meat. It’s also trying to plug a gap in the vegan market by introducing vegan fish dishes.
In addition, in 2020 every one of the go-to UK restaurants also proudly boasted vegan, or plant-based, offerings - including takeaways KFC, McDonalds, Subway, Taco Bell and Papa Johns.
Plus, even book retailers saw a boom in the veganism revolution. As of November 2020, Waterstones recorded over 10,000 book titles with the word 'vegan' in them, compared to just 944 two years previously in August 2018!
More British Shoppers are Shopping Sustainably
While 1 in 5 Brits (19%) said they would consider going vegan in 2019, a record 1 in 3 Brits have already stopped or reduced their meat consumption. On top of that, it’s estimated that more than a quarter of all evening meals in the UK are now either vegan or vegetarian.
In 2019 a Mintel survey reported that nearly a quarter of Britons were consuming plant milk and noted that was already a 19% increase from 2018. However just a year later in 2020, The Grocer revealed that 62% of adults in the UK had bought plant milk.
This change seems to be reflected in a survey undertaken by Opinion Matters, in which over half of British shoppers (56%) attested to vegan-buying behaviours such as checking whether their toiletries are cruelty-free, and buying vegan products.
So just why is Veganism on the Rise?
From regular surveys undertaken for new vegans, statistics suggest a number of different reasons given for the choice to opt into a vegan diet.
In Mintel’s most recent study of 1,040 British adults, the largest number of respondents (49%) cited health reasons for their choice to switch from meat to plant-based foods.
Other reasons included concern over animal welfare (51%), concern for the environment (31%) and weight management.
Looking to a Greener Future
Whilst 2018 to 2020 has so far seen the largest amount of growth in the vegan lifestyle, these vegan statistics show the most exciting times may still lay ahead of us.
A report by supermarket Sainsburys predicted that by 2025, out of all UK consumers, vegans and vegetarians would make up a quarter of the British population in 2025, whilst flexitarians (those who eat both plant-based foods and meat based) would make up just under half.
There’s more good news for vegan businesses, too. The UK meat-free market looks set to grow from £559m in 2016 to £658m in 2021, with more lines such as Wicked Kitchen taking a prominent place on supermarket shelves.
And it’s not just food-based vegan businesses that can get excited. The vegan leather market is estimated to overtake the animal leather market by 2025 with a total estimated value of $90 billion.
These amazing vegan statistics can give us all cause for optimism in 2021 and beyond. By more and more consumers opting to choose plant-based products, we can reduce carbon emissions, produce more food to feed those in third world countries, and give more land back to our planet through reduced animal agriculture.
At the Goodness Project, we’ll continue bringing you the best vegan products from around the world throughout this new year and beyond! Shop our existing range now.
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