According to a new report, the number of people who identify as vegan in the US may be up six times the number reported just three years ago to a huge 19 million.
The astronomical rise was reported in the Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017 report, compiled by market research group Global Data. It showed that six per cent of people in the US are now vegan versus just one percent three years ago. This would mean around 19 million people in the US are now vegan compared to three million in 2014.
Consumers are changing their eating habits across the world. The report states that meat-free consumption is also becoming more popular in Germany. It shows 44 per cent of consumers follow a low-meat diet. In 2014 just 26 per cent of people considered themselves on a low-meat diet. More and more people are embracing flexitarian diets.
Demand for ethical foods
The report found there to be a gradual shift occurring in response to health trends. It identified some key trends impacting innovation in prepared foods. One of these was the need to go meat-free due to the awareness of the impact that eating meat can have which is driving demand for alternative products. Another is the desire to eat ethically, with consumers connecting ethical and sustainable lifestyles with wellbeing and wellness. This is creating demand for more ethically-produced foods.
The report states: “Consumers perceive an ethical and sustainable lifestyle to be an important part of their wellbeing and wellness, and prepared foods aligning with ethical and sustainable issues will appeal to many consumers.”
The market is starting to react to this move to a plant-based diet. Recently Amazon bought WholeFoods for $13 billion and national fast food burger chain BurgerFi added a new vegan burger to its menu across 100+ stores.