Key consumer insights on vegan diets

Consumer Insights

Welcome to our new guide on consumer insights.

In this edition, you will find the most important consumer insights on vegan diets and the role of V-Label in them, specifically:

  • The growing trend of new vegans and flexitarians with Veganuary
  • Why consumers are demanding vegan food
  • Practical examples of how companies make the most out of Veganuary
  • The importance of V-Label for vegans and flexitarians

Now it’s time to share what we discovered.

Key consumer insights on vegan diets

New year; new you – or that’s what they say. Vegan diets are becoming increasingly popular among consumers, as evidenced by the rise of the Veganuary challenge.

Every 2.4 seconds, a person signs up for the Veganuary challenge, which consists of having a fully vegan diet and lifestyle during the month of January. At that rate, this will be the year with the most signups. And that is no surprise if we consult the numbers from the past 4 years:

Veganuary participation

Consumers are now more interested than ever in vegan diets. And there are many reasons for this to happen. 

Here’s what we’ve uncovered about why consumers wanted to try a vegan diet in 2022 and how this affected their dietary habits

Why did consumers try a vegan diet?

The report conducted by Veganuary shows the three main reasons consumers chose to follow a vegan diet last January:

Reasons to follow vegan diets

Personal health and the environment are always among consumers’ top motives for choosing plant-based foods. That’s why brands need sustainability and health claims in their products: these are key factors for consumers when purchasing plant-based foods. 

For example, 74% of global consumers are concerned about the state of the environment and, more specifically, about carbon emissions. And since plant-based foods are highly associated with being environmentally friendly, having sustainability claims will help attract consumers.

Dietary habits after trying a vegan diet

After trying a month without eating animal products, non-vegan consumers were asked if they would maintain a vegan diet: 

  • 36% claimed they would continue with a vegan diet, 
  • while 10% were not sure about it.

This is positive news: consumers who are not vegan are willing to change after trying a plant-based diet, and while many of them will not keep with it in the long term, they may hop into the flexitarian trend, which is a big market for food producers with a plant-based portfolio.

From the 54% of consumers who would not continue with a vegan diet, two major insights are worth highlighting:

  • 74% said they would reduce their consumption of animal products by at least half.
  • 76% said they were extremely likely or very likely to try a vegan diet in the future.

Again, consumers are willing to change their dietary habits to introduce more plant-based foods, which means that every year, there will be more flexitarians and more demand for plant-based products.

Extra tip for food producers:

Even if consumers are willing to change their diets for animal welfare, personal health, or environmental reasons, they don’t want to miss any of the products they used to have before adopting a vegan diet. That’s why they were asked what products they missed most during Veganuary:

Top missed products vegan diets

Companies who take advantage of this data when developing their products have the greatest opportunity to tap into this market by offering these plant-based alternatives.

Quick fact: 59% of consumers state that there is a lack of availability of different types of products

Practical examples: How to make the most out of Veganuary

Veganuary is the perfect moment for brands to launch their new plant-based foods. Consumers are more willing to try a vegan diet, so brands have a great chance to showcase their new plant-based products.

Let’s look at some examples from these brands:

The Vegetarian Butcher: In this Veganuary, The Vegetarian Butcher has launched their first ever cookbook in the UK, “New Meat,” under the slogan, “The foods you love, without compromising on taste, texture and tradition,” appealing to flexitarian consumers. They’ve also made many discounts and have offered for free their plant-based chicken in some supermarkets for consumers to try. They’ve also collaborated with Subway to launch their new vegan sandwich, the “Plant-based Teriyaki Steak Sub”.

Heinz: For Veganuary 2021, Heinz launched vegan salad cream, bean burgers, and a selection of egg-free mayos in the UK. But for this Veganuary, they have pushed harder: they have launched vegan versions of two of their best-selling products, Creamy Tomato Soup and Beanz & Sausages. And to top it off, they’ve just introduced plant-based meat nuggets, the Original Nuggetz and the Curried Nuggetz, which are fully vegan, and the Cheesy Nuggetz, which are vegetarian. 

E.L.F cosmetics: Tackling Veganuary means committing to an entirely vegan lifestyle, not just food choices. That’s why many cosmetics brands use this time of year to promote their new products. E.L.F Cosmetics has been introducing new products in Veganuary for a couple of years now, and this year has been no different: from new anti-aging serums and primers to sunscreen, E.L.F Cosmetics is already making the most out of this Veganuary.

Quick fact: 86% of consumers would like to start buying more cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics products.

Heura: Last but not least, the leading plant-based meat company in Spain has just made a big announcement for this Veganuary: Heura enters the plant-based fish category with their F’sh Fillet and F’sh Fingers.

Our advice: if you are thinking about launching a new plant-based product, Veganuary 2024 could be a great opportunity. However, your product will need to stand out from the competitors. Good marketing and communication will help you with it, as well as adding personal health or environmental claims to your product.

But if you want your plant-based product to gain visibility, consumer trust, and give a premium quality perception, you will need more than that. And that’s where V-Label can help your plant-based product.

We don’t do the talk; consumers do. Let’s check out what consumers think of V-Label.

Key Consumer Insights on V-Label

European consumers are aware of the existence of V-Label. And they love it.

How do we know?

Because recently, FMCG Gurus conducted a survey where European consumers gave their insights on V-Label. 14,000 people from 14 European countries participated. Only 13% followed a vegetarian/vegan diet, so the answers to this survey do not come solely from people who follow this diet.

So, what do they have to say about V-Label? 

European consumers were asked if they had ever seen the V-label symbol in drink and food products. 34% responded yes, and the number is higher in specific countries like Spain, Sweden, or Austria, where 40% responded affirmatively. 

Now let’s get to the specifics. 

A third of Europe knows about V-Label

European consumers are aware of V-Label’s existence.

As a matter of fact, 54% of them have bought a product with the V-Label symbol, while only 16% have not. A high percentage of consumers have purchased a product with the V-Label symbol, so they are familiar with it.

This leads us to the next question: Do they know what the V-label symbol means? 

The answer is yes: 65% of European consumers know what the V-Label symbol means, and this translates to a specific consumer behavior: 29% of European consumers never check the ingredients of a product to see if it’s vegetarian/vegan when it is marked with the V-Label symbol, and 31% rarely do it, making V-Label a sign of trust.

In short: Consumers know and trust V-Label, making it easier for consumers to purchase vegan/vegetarian products safely. Perhaps this quality is what makes 40% of European consumers willing to pay a premium price for a product carrying the V-Label symbol.

Last but not least, here are the top 5 associations European consumers make when seeing V-Label:

Consumer perception on V-Label

As you can see, V-Label has many positive qualities for consumers. They know us, trust us, and think we are of high quality. If you want to be one step ahead of your competitors, get certified here or arrange a call with us.

Now it’s your turn

We really hope you enjoyed our new consumer insights guide. 

And now we’d like to hear from you.

Which consumer insight from today’s guide did you find the most useful?

Do you think your products could benefit from Veganuary? And from V-Label?

Either way, let us know by leaving a quick comment below.

See you in the next guide.

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List of Resources

*This data was extracted from FMCG Gurus*

*32.000 consumers participated in the survey conducted by Veganuary. Only 17% of participants were vegan*.