Shopper insight proves full-time veganism is ‘relatively niche’

07/02/2019 - 06:00
Latest insight from IGD shows that the number of UK shoppers who took part in Veganuary doubled the proportion that is vegan all the time, although it was still a ‘small’ amount at 4%.

Consumers cited supporting the environment as their biggest reason for going Vegan last month (17%) followed by to live longer (15%) and to try something different (15%).

Of the 4% who tried their hand at Veganuary, only a quarter managed to successfully see it through the whole month.

16% however plan to stay vegan for the whole of 2019 and a further 7% to keep it up on an ‘ongoing’ basis.

Proving the increasing popularity of a ‘flexitarian’ diet, 6% surveyed said they ate “mainly vegetarian with the occasional meat dish” in January with half of participants seeing it through the month.

28% who trialled the diet did so to improve their overall health; 22% to lose weight; and 17% to improve their fitness.

Among those who kept it up for a couple of week or the whole month, 22% will continue ‘indefinitely’.

Health and wellbeing seemed to be at the forefront on many consumers’ minds this New Year, admitting to IGD that they ate more fruit and vegetables (14%), gave up alcohol (11%) and quit sugar (9%).

Shopper insight manager Vanessa Henry said: “Although still a small amount, the number of shoppers that took part in Veganuary doubled the proportion of those who are vegan all of the time.

“The top reasons shoppers trialled this was to support the environment, but also for health reasons and to experiment.

“We can see that most of these shoppers claim to have felt a benefit - whether that is feeling more socially conscious or healthier. However, with only a very small number planning to continue a vegan lifestyle and with a relatively low proportion of people taking this approach all year round, overall full-time veganism is still relatively niche.  

“More shoppers say they adopted a ‘flexitarian’ approach to their diet in January by cutting down on meat rather than eliminating it entirely. This is representative of a broader trend we see throughout the year, whether it’s just one meal or one day a week, such as ‘Meat Free Monday’.

“This suggests that plant-based products won’t be confined to the small proportion of shoppers who identify more regularly with veganism, but will appeal to a much broader group of shoppers.

“Both retailers and suppliers are responding to this interest in plant-based products by launching a significant number of new and interesting alternatives.”

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