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How the "Veganuary" will affect consumer diets in 2023
Toluna surveyed consumers in the Netherlands and the UK about the "Veganuary
The new year is no longer just about going to the gym or reducing alcohol consumption. In addition to these more traditional New Year's resolutions, many people are taking on the challenge of participating in Veganuary. The trend was started in 2014 and each year inspires people around the world to eat vegan during January. In fact, last year more than 629,000 people in 228 countries and territories participated in Veganuary 2022 - the largest number to date since the initiative began.
To find out just how much the trend has caught on, our team at Toluna conducted a survey of Veganuary participation in the UK and the Netherlands for the second year in a row. The results of the survey, conducted on January 21 and 22 among consumers in the UK and the Netherlands, show that vegan food consumption continues to rise.
Participation and overall impact
In the 2022 Toluna Veganuary survey, we saw an increase in popularity compared to 2021. Was this also the case in 2023? The short answer is "no." In the UK, 54% of consumers said they were thinking about participating in the Veganuary - roughly the same as the 55% who said so in 2022.
Since nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers believe that vegan foods are more expensive than other products, we asked survey respondents whether the cost-of-living crisis has affected their participation in Veganuary. While a valid question given the circumstances, we found that this was not a factor for most respondents.
While growth in Veganuary participation itself is flat compared to last year, we see promising signs of the overall impact of Veganuary on consumer diets. When we looked more closely at respondents' meat consumption, we found that more than one-third (36%) of those describing themselves as "meat eaters" are consuming less meat than they did a year ago. On the other hand, nearly half (47%) of those who eat a vegan diet said they increased their consumption of vegan foods in the past year. And of those participating in Veganuary, 60% said they ate less or no meat in the following months.
The brands that are central to the Veganuary
When we asked respondents about the brands that come to mind when they think of the Veganuary, three meat substitute brands were the clear winners: Quorn, Linda McCartney's and Beyond Meat.
Consumers aren't just reaching for meat substitutes, however. We also looked at consumers consuming dairy substitutes in the Veganuary. Alpro is the most popular brand in this category, followed by Oatly and Almond Breeze.
Consumers are also looking outside of grocery stores for vegan alternatives. In fact, three-quarters of respondents (76%) said they expect fast-food restaurants to have vegan options on the menu year-round. When asked which restaurants they would be most likely to visit on the occasion of Veganuary, the most popular brands were Greggs, McDonald's and Subway.
Veganuary in the Netherlands
Since Veganuary is a global phenomenon, we also wanted to find out if it has gained popularity in the Netherlands. While we did not see an increase in overall awareness of the Veganuary, we are optimistic about the future. Among those who did not participate in Veganuary in 2023, the intention to participate in the future increased by 5% compared to the previous year.
Toluna Germany GmbH