Almost half of UK vegans made the switch to the lifestyle within the last year

Almost half of the vegans in the UK made the switch to the lifestyle within the last year, a new report has revealed.

Published 19th Nov 2018
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

The study by data analysis platform GlobalData found that, as of 2018, 42 per cent of reported UK vegans have followed the diet for less than a year; this compares with only one fifth of vegetarians (most have been vegetarian far longer).

Picture: GlobalData

Veganism continues to grow rapidly in popularity in the UK, partly due to the high quality plant food now available in mainstream shops and supermarkets.

According to GlobalData’s recent survey, 51 per cent of UK consumers say their primary motivation behind adopting a vegan diet is for ethical reasons, closely followed by 47 per cent of consumers wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Emily Stella, Lead Analyst at GlobalData said: “Development in high-quality meat substitutes has propelled acceptance and uptake – the Beyond Meat burger that ‘bleeds’ reached Tesco’s meat shelves last week.”

The vast majority of consumers agree that grocers meet their dietary needs, with almost 90 per cent of UK vegetarians finding what they want at the supermarket and 79 per cent of vegans.

Stella addeed: “How grocers manage product placement instore is also important; the founder of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown, stipulates that their products must be located in the meat aisles, alongside other points in stores, as too many potential shoppers – many of whom may be meat eaters – are otherwise lost.

“Price is also a concern; at Tesco, a pack of two Beyond Burgers is sold at £5.50, which is prohibitively high when the cost of two beef burger patties are almost half that. However, as the supply of meat substitutes becomes more plentiful, the price should also drop.”

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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