Published Jan 24, 2023
Dirk Pieterse, Enterprise Account Director at Toluna
The new year isn’t just for going to the gym or lowering alcohol consumption anymore. On top of these more traditional New Year’s resolutions, people are taking up the challenge to participate in Veganuary. The trend originated in 2014 and inspires people across the globe to try vegan food in the month of January.
To understand just how much the trend has caught on, our team at Toluna conducted an agile study on Veganuary participation amongst adults in the United Kingdom and Netherlands for the third consecutive year.
In our 2022 Veganuary study, we measured a gain in popularity versus 2021, but this seems to have plateaued this year. This year, amongst those aware of the term Veganuary in the UK, 16% took part compared to 19% in 2022. By comparison, 21% of consumers aware of Veganuary are likely to participate in the future, showing an openness to the trend.
Given that nearly two-thirds (64%) think vegan food is more expensive compared to non-vegan food, we asked consumers aware of Veganuary whether the cost-of-living crisis had any impact on their Veganuary participation. We found that for the majority, it did not impact their likelihood to participate (65%), although 16% are less likely to take part for this reason.
While Veganuary participation itself hasn’t grown since last year, we are seeing signs of changes to consumer diets. When we zoomed in on meat consumption amongst respondents, we measured that over one-third (36%) of self-identified ‘meat-eaters’ say that they are consuming less meat than they did a year ago. On the other side of the coin, nearly half (47%) of those who ever eat vegan food said they increased their consumption of vegan food in the last year (with 12% saying they eat a lot more vegan food). Veganuary participation is also likely to have an impact on future meat consumption; amongst those who do participate in Veganuary or intend to in the future, 36% say they will eat less meat and a further 31% will eat less red meat in the subsequent months of the year.
When we asked respondents aware of Veganuary about the brands that come to mind when thinking of Veganuary, three meat replacement brands were the winners: Quorn, followed by Linda McCartney’s, and to a lesser extent, Beyond Meat.
However, it’s not just meat replacements that consumers are turning to. We also zoomed in on those consuming dairy replacements in Veganuary. Alpro is the brand most likely to be chosen in this category, followed by Oatly and then Almond Breeze.
Consumers are looking for vegan options outside of the grocery aisles, too. In fact, three-quarters of respondents (76%) say they expect an all-year vegan offering from fast-food restaurants. When we asked those consumers who are familiar with Veganuary about the restaurants they would be most likely to visit for Veganuary, the most popular choices were Greggs, McDonald’s, and Subway.
As Veganuary is a global phenomenon, we also sought to understand whether there was an increase in popularity in the Netherlands. While we did not see an increase in overall awareness of Veganuary, we did note that amongst those who aren’t participating in Veganuary in 2023, there was a 5% year-on-year increase in likelihood to participate in the future.
If you would like to view the full results of our 2023 Veganuary study, please feel free to contact me at Dirk.Pieterse@Toluna.com.