Veganuary 2024: Plant-Based Products in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands

Published Feb 15, 2024

Iris Donkers, Account Director at Toluna

Share this

With every new year comes new year’s resolutions, and in the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany, consumers aren’t just aiming to eat healthier in 2024. They’re rethinking their consumption of animal products, too.

For the fourth year in a row, Toluna conducted an agile study during Veganuary—this time together with MetrixLab—to understand how consumers think and act when it comes to plant-based products. This year’s study surveyed consumers in the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Changing consumption patterns

When consumers look to reduce their consumption of animal products, they usually prioritize reducing the amount of meat they eat. In our study, we found that about one third of the UK population (32%) is no longer eating meat every day, and this trend is even stronger within the Netherlands (45%) and Germany (42%). Of those who don’t eat meat every day, we see a diversity of diets: vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, and the largest group: flexitarians. For those adopting these diets, animal welfare, health, and environmental reasons are mentioned as the main drivers for their choice.

For brands innovating in this space, the good news is that 28% of UK consumers plan to increase consumption of vegan food in the next year and over half (55%) indicate that they are open to trying new vegan products. Key areas for opportunity could include products that consumers struggle to find suitable replacements of, such as cheese and fish/seafood alternatives.

However, when it comes to packaging and communicating about these products, it’s important to consider which claims to use. In the UK, consumers prefer to see the term ‘plant-based’ rather than ‘vegan’ across meat and dairy substitutes. The term ‘vegetarian’ is also considered a good alternative for plant-based meat, while ‘dairy-free’ is seen as a good alternative for plant-based dairy products.

The popularity of plant-based dairy products

UK consumers aren’t just eating plant-based meat substitutes. Dairy substitutes are also gaining popularity amongst consumers, with 28% of respondents saying they consume dairy-free butter substitutes on a weekly basis. This is followed by milk alternatives (21%)—with almond, oat, and coconut being among the most prevalent—and plant-based yoghurts (20%). Oatly (60%) and Alpro (58%) are the top brands that consumers purchase for dairy replacement, followed by Almond Dream (34%) and Coconut Collaborative (32%).

Veganuary in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands

Veganuary is a more well-known concept in the UK and Germany than it is in the Netherlands. In the UK, about three in four (73%) have heard of Veganuary, followed by three in five in Germany (60%). In both countries, about half of those who were aware of Veganuary said they have either participated in the past or plan to do so in the future. Meanwhile, only 30% of Dutch respondents were aware of Veganuary, while about 20% have participated before or intend to participate in the future.

Despite this difference in awareness and participation in Veganuary across these countries, one thing is true for all: the vast majority of Veganuary participants intend to continue with their changed behavior and claim they will consume less meat and/or dairy products than they did before.

When asked why they participate in Veganuary, consumers often cite health, animal welfare, and environmental reasons. However, many others across the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands said it simply offered an opportunity to try vegan products, which they hear about and see in stores on an ever-increasing basis.

If you would like to view the full results of any of our 2024 Veganuary studies, please feel free to contact me at to learn more.

Share this
This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.