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Vegan Stats and Facts: Everything You Need to Know

Veganism used to be considered an extreme diet – one that was only followed by certain religions or animal rights activists. Today, however, veganism has gone mainstream!

It’s a great time to be vegan with all the choices available. Most grocery stores include a great range of vegan products, from plant-based milks to faux meat burgers. More and more restaurants include vegan options on their menus, and even popular fast-food chains have launched products catering to the growing vegan crowd.

We’ve rounded up the latest plant-based facts and figures, and we’ve also identified the key brands that are dominating the vegan market today. From the history of veganism to the most vegan-friendly countries, here are 50+ stats and facts about veganism.

Veganism: Then & Now

Veganism has changed a lot over the years. Today, it’s an ever-growing popular trend, with more people than ever before adapting their diet to include plant-based options.

1. There Are Millions of Vegan Worldwide

Veganism has risen in popularity around the world. People choose the vegan path for many reasons, ranging from sustainability, environmental and animal rights issues, dietary inclinations, or merely out of curiosity for a different lifestyle.

As we stand in 2023, the global vegan population is approximately 80 million, just a little over 1% of the worldwide population. However, the vegan demographic is still on the rise. In the United States, the number of vegans has risen by 600% in the past 3 years alone.

2. Vegan Diets Are Not New

Although sometimes considered a Western fad, vegan diets have actually been a part of everyday life for a long time in many parts of the world. Many different countries have people following vegan diets because of their long-standing traditions and religious beliefs.

Countries like India, China, Japan, Greece, Jamaica, and Israel have a deep history of veganism, with lots of people choosing to ditch meat and go for plant-based food, thanks to religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. 

In India, for example, veganism goes way back to around the 5th century BCE, when the ancient religion of Jainism encouraged a diet without any animal products.

3. The Different Types of Veganism

Veganism isn't as simple as it might first appear. In reality, there are loads of different kinds of vegans, each with their own food preferences.

Your typical vegans, the ones you'll meet most often, stick to a plant-based diet that includes a bit of everything – both the “healthy” stuff and the “not-so-healthy” vegan stuff like faux meats and vegan junk food, alongside whole foods.

But there are other types of vegan diets out there too, like:

  • Fruitarianism — This diet is all about raw fruit, with some raw veggies thrown in, and just a little bit of plant-based fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds.

  • Raw-food veganism — This diet is all about raw vegan foods and foods that haven't been cooked above 118°F (48°C).

  • Whole-food, plant-based veganism — This diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, while often saying no to oils.

  • Ethical veganism — This kind of veganism goes beyond just food and avoids any products from animals, like leather and fur. Ethical vegans will also steer clear of products tested on animals.

4. The Vegan Market Is Growing, Fast

With more and more of us choosing vegan diets, food manufacturers are capitalizing on the growing opportunity. And that means more vegan products on our supermarket shelves.

The global vegan food market is currently growing at an annual rate of 9.1%, with a projected net worth of $24.3 billion by 2026. In 2018, the vegan food market was only valued at $14.2 billion.

5. Google Search Shows Growing Interest in Veganism

Google searches for “vegan” and “veganism” have increased dramatically over the last few years, particularly between 2014-2019, when vegan culture surfaced as an emerging trend.

Searches for veganism peaked in the UK with the highest score of any region on Google Trends. But it’s not just Brits that are going plant-based. Searches continued to grow rapidly in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and many other countries.

6. The World Is Enjoying Veganuary

When it comes to ringing in the new year with a fresh start, one of the top things people aim to change is their diet. One increasingly popular January diet is "Veganuary." This is a challenge where people decide to follow a vegan diet for the month of January. The hope is that they'll find the plant-based lifestyle so good, they'll stick with it for the rest of the year, and maybe even forever.

More and more people have been jumping on the Veganuary bandwagon, especially over the past couple of years. Back in 2019, around 250,300 people around the globe decided to give it a shot. Fast forward just two years to 2021, and the number of folks giving veganism a try more than doubled, with more than 513,000 people switching to a plant-based diet.

That's a whole lot of people trading in their burgers for beans and their steaks for seitan. For many, Veganuary isn't just a new year's resolution – it's a whole new way of looking at food.

7. Animal Welfare Is a Key Motivator

There are many different reasons why people go vegan. But one factor was a key influencer for Veganuary in 2021, and that was animal rights.

Of those that participated in Veganuary, 46% said they did so because of animal rights concerns. The second most popular motivator was personal health, with 22% of people stating this as their top concern, followed by environmental concerns at 21%. 

8. The Power of Plant Protein

Veganism is a diet free from animal products, which means people are trying to get their protein from other sources. 

Sales of plant-based protein foods such as tempeh, tofu, seitan, peas, beans, and chickpeas are soaring, even among those that aren’t vegan.

The global plant-based market has grown considerably, with a current market value of $11.8 billion. This is set to increase even further. By 2026, it’s estimated the plant protein market will be worth around $15.6 billion.

9. Meat Substitutes Are Replacing Animals

Although veganism means cutting out meat, many people still want to enjoy the flavor and texture of meat.

More and more meatless burgers, meatballs, sausages, filets, and ground meat are filling our grocery store shelves as a way of offering the same meaty taste, minus the animal.

In 2021, the value of plant-based meat worldwide sat at $5.37 billion, increasing from $4.98 billion in 2020. And with an impressive CAGR of over 10.4%, by 2028, the plant-based meat market is estimated to be worth $10.80 billion.

10. Plant-Based Food Sector Overtaking Retail

The plant-based sector is growing much faster in comparison to total retail.

In 2020, the plant-based food sector in the US accelerated by 27%, while total retail only grew by 15% in the same period.

Even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of plant-based food continued to rise. Refrigerated plant-based meat was the most frequently bought product, seeing a 241% increase in sales during peak panic buying at the height of the pandemic.

Veganism Around the World

Certain countries have more prominent vegan cultures, whether because of historical and religious influence or a rapidly adapting population.

11. 5 Countries with the Highest Number of Vegans & Vegetarians

It’s perhaps unsurprising that countries with cultural or religious vegan influences have many vegans and vegetarians.

With a deep-rooted history of veganism, India tops the list, with 39% of the population claiming to be either vegan or vegetarian. Israel is runner up with 13%, followed by Taiwan with 12%. Both Italy and Austria also have large vegan and vegetarian populations, with around 10% and 9% respectively.

12. Growth of the Plant-Based Market in Asia

In China, the government has made a commitment to reduce meat consumption by half by the year 2030. This significant pledge is encouraging a greater shift towards veganism and significantly propelling the growth of the plant-based market.

The commitment has already had a very real impact. Since 2016, there has been an impressive increase of over 440% in the introduction of vegan and vegetarian products throughout Asia.

In particular, the plant-based meat market is experiencing rapid expansion, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.9%. This rate stands above the global annual growth average of around 14.8%.

Meanwhile, other regions continue to show substantial growth as well. In North America, the CAGR is 14.6%, and Europe closely follows with a CAGR of 14.4%. Clearly, the trend towards plant-based alternatives is flourishing worldwide.

13. Veganism in Europe Has Doubled

Veganism has grown in popularity in the Western world, especially in Europe. Recent statistics show that the number of vegans in Europe has been steadily increasing year after year. Between 2016 and 2020, it has doubled.

In 2016, Europe was home to approximately 1.3 million vegans. By 2020, this had increased to an estimated 2.6 million — or around 3.2% of the population.

Portugal, in particular, has seen rapid growth in veganism, with a 400% increase in the number of people turning vegan or vegetarian. Currently, approximately 600,000 Portuguese are vegan or vegetarian.

14. New Vegan Products Are Emerging in Europe

Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom are the leading European nations that have seen substantial growth in the sales of plant-based products. Germany saw a notable sales growth of plant-based meat products, increasing by 76% between 2019 and 2020. Austria followed suit with a 52% growth, and the UK wasn't far behind with a growth rate of 36%.

This growth in sales aligns with an increase in the launch of new vegan products. In 2021 alone, the UK introduced 566 new vegan products to coincide with Veganuary, suggesting that the surge isn't just in product availability, but also in consumer demand. The UK also saw a significant increase in the availability of ready-to-eat vegan meals, with an increase of over 92% from 2018 to 2021.

15. The UK Vegan Market Is Booming

The number of vegans in the UK has increased by 300% between 2014 and 2019. Roughly 1.16% of the population now identifies as vegan. In 2019, 600,000 people adopted a vegan lifestyle — the highest figure so far.

This was likely influenced by a huge shift to veganism in 2018. Around 42% of all British vegans surveyed said they’d made the switch in 2018, leading to the dramatic growth of vegans in 2019.

Even children are eating vegan diets. Currently, 10% of children aged 8-16 are either vegan or vegetarian.

16. Women in the UK Are Cutting Meat Consumption

Even without completely committing to a vegan diet, the UK population is finding ways to cut their meat consumption and adopt more of a plant-based lifestyle.

Women, in particular, are opting for more meat substitutes, with 39% of females in the UK saying they eat less meat and more vegan meals compared to a year ago. That said, men are also opting for vegan alternatives, with around 31% saying they consume less meat and more vegan meals than 12 months ago. 

17. The UK’s Sales Value of Meat Substitutes Is the Highest in Europe

The UK has one of the world’s largest vegan markets. In 2018, it released more new vegan products than any other country in the world.

Things have only accelerated further, with the UK holding the top spot for the sales value of meat substitutes in Europe.

Between October 2019 and September 2020, the UK meat substitute’s market generated over €500 million through the sales of meat alternatives. In comparison, runner-up Germany’s meat substitute market brought in nearly €150 million less, with a sales revenue of €357 million despite a larger increase in sales growth.

18. The Forecast of Germany’s Vegan Market

Germany’s vegan market is increasing rapidly. As of 2020, the vegan market in Germany was worth $256 billion, which is an increase of $26 billion from 2019.

In 2018, 13% of all new vegan products launched throughout Europe were in Germany. Since then, the number of Germans who classify as vegan has grown steadily.

Around 6.31 million people said they followed a vegetarian diet (or largely forgo meat consumption) in Germany in 2018. As of 2021, this has increased to 7.5 million. And across Europe, Germany has the highest share of 18-29-year-olds identifying as vegan, with 5% of people in this age group making the switch. 

19. US Plant-Based & Vegan Market Continues to Grow

In alignment with global trends, the US market is also experiencing an upsurge in plant-based and vegan products.

Rewind to 2017, the value of the US plant-based market was $3.9 billion. However, the growth since then has been substantial. By the time we reached 2020, the figure had nearly doubled to reach $7 million.

At the same time, the sales growth of vegan and plant-based products has seen a rapid acceleration. In 2019, products labeled as "vegan" saw the highest growth among lifestyle products, recording a 1.7% increase in sales. Products labeled as "plant-based" followed closely behind, registering a 1.6% increase in sales. This illustrates the increasing consumer preference for more sustainable and health-conscious choices.

20. More and More Americans Are Going Vegan

Current statistics suggest that between 2-6% of the US population identifies as vegan.

Interestingly, even those who don't adhere to a strictly vegan diet are still interested in meatless options. Around 95% of individuals in the US who order vegan burgers don't identify as vegans. This suggests that plant-based alternatives are gaining favor among lots of consumers, not just those who follow a vegan diet.

There's also a noticeable age difference when it comes to adopting a vegan lifestyle. Younger Americans are more likely to follow a vegan diet compared to their older counterparts. About 4% of US citizens aged 30-49 identify as vegan, followed by 3% of those aged 18-29. This is in contrast to the 1% of people aged 50-64 and 2% of those aged 65 or older who identify as vegans. This data suggests a shifting generational perspective on veganism and plant-based diets.

21. The US States with the Highest Number of Vegans 

More and more Americans are turning vegan, and the US is seeing a significant rise in the number of vegan restaurants as a result. In 2019, the website Happy Cow listed over 1,474 all-vegan restaurants throughout the US.

Of all US states, Nevada, Oregon, Washington D.C., California, and New York have the highest number of vegan restaurants. California comes first, with over 300 all-vegan restaurants, followed by New York - home to approximately 166 vegan eateries.

22. Australia’s Vegan Outlook

Australia’s population is generally consuming less meat, opting for plant-based and vegan options instead.

Meat consumption in Australia has steadily declined over the last decade, with around 19.19kg of beef and veal consumed per capita. Back in 2013, this figure sat at around 23.75kg. It’s projected to decline further in the next few years, while the economic value of vegan food is expected to grow rapidly.

As of 2020, vegan packaged food was worth AUS $215 million, up from AUS $199.8 the previous year. And by 2030, the plant-based food sector is expected to add a further AUS $1.1 billion to the economy.

Veganism: Trending Now

From plant-based meat substitutes to dairy-free milk, there are plenty of new and upcoming trends leading to the surge in veganism worldwide.

23. Meat Substitutes Are Taking over Our Shelves

Plant-based “meats” are finding their way into our shopping trolleys as the global population opts for healthier alternatives. 2020 was the best year on record for plant-based meat, seeing a 45.3% growth in sales in the US. 

The top reason consumers are buying meat-free options is to try something new, however, not because they follow a vegan diet.

Over 40% of consumers in the US chose meat-free options to try something new, while 30% said it was because they’d heard a lot about veganism and were curious. A further 27% said they opted for meatless choices because they’re trying to eat less meat.

24. Veggie Burgers Are Consumers’ Favorite

Plant-based burgers are the most popular option of all the vegan meat alternatives, with 74% of US consumers purchasing healthy vegan burgers made with vegetables, legumes, and pulses.

Beef-style alternative burgers are the second most popular option (bought by 68% of consumers), followed by chicken substitutes, accounting for 52% of vegan meat purchases.

25. Consumers in the US Prefer the Taste of Meat Alternatives

Many people choose vegan foods because of environmental and animal welfare concerns. But there are many other key drivers too.

Of all the reasons consumers opt for plant-based meat over animal protein, the taste was the top answer (53%), with most preferring the taste of meat substitutes to actual animal protein.

Around 29% of people also said they opted for meat substitutes because it meant they were less concerned about food safety issues. Not only are we choosing options because they are better for the planet, but we’re enjoying them, too.

26. The Brands Leading the Meatless Market

With more vegan options available than ever before, more and more brands are claiming space in the market — particularly in the US.

In the US, MorningStar is currently the most popular, with around 23 million consumers saying they purchase meatless products from this brand the most. Boca, Gardenburger, Amy’s Kitchens, and Gardein make up the rest of the top 5 most popular meatless brands among consumers.

Unsurprisingly, MorningStar has the most sales value compared to competitors, generating over $77 million in 2020. In fact, MorningStar generated way over double the revenue of competing brands. Gardein, in second place, only brought in around $20 million in 2020.

27. Beyond Meat Is Taking up More Space in the Market

Beyond Meat’s space in the market is growing fast.

Around 75% of consumers in the US are already aware of Beyond Meat, although MorningStar still takes first place with 80%. But Beyond Meat’s gross profit has soared in recent years, jumping from $17.57 million in 2018, to $122.28 in 2020 — which is nearly 7 times as much. It’s safe to say we will see more and more of Beyond Meat in our grocery stores.

28. Dairy Alternatives Are in Demand

Vegan dairy alternatives are huge in the plant-based market. From milk and cheese, to dips and sauces, consumers all over the world are seeking out dairy-free swaps wherever possible.

In total, the retail sales growth of all dairy alternatives reached $7 billion in 2020 in the US, increasing over 20% from the previous year.

Sales of vegan spreads, dips, sour cream, and sauces increased the fastest, with an 83% growth in revenue, followed by a 45% increase in plant-based cheese sales. Both butter and cream alternatives also saw an increase of over 30% in sales.

29. Plant-Based Milk Sales Reached Record Highs

Oat, soy, almond, coconut, you name it — there are tons of dairy-free milk alternatives out there. And we’re enjoying them, because plant-based milk is increasing in demand, and quickly, too.

In 2019, the sales value of dairy-free milk hit $2 billion in the US. By the end of 2020, non-dairy milk sales in the US grew by 25% to $2.5 billion. 

30. Growth in the Vegan Cheese Category

Alongside milk substitutes, vegan cheese is also a sought-after dairy alternative.

In 2020, vegan cheese saw the second-highest growth of all plant-based foods, increasing 42.5% in sales globally. The total value of sales in the vegan cheese category reached $270 million worldwide in 2020, and it’s growing rapidly year on year.

The vegan cheese market was forecasted to be worth $2.9 billion by the end of 2021. And by 2024, it is predicted to reach at least $3.9 billion. 

31. Pea Protein is the Alternative Ingredient of Choice

Removing animal protein from our diets means that we’re looking for new, alternative protein sources, including pea protein.

Many popular plant-based companies use pea protein in their meat alternative products to increase protein content, which means the market for the ingredient is thriving.

Currently, the global pea protein market is worth an impressive $481 million, but this is forecasted to more than double in size by 2027. In the next 5 years, the market is projected to be worth over $1.1 billion.

32. More Products Offering Vegan Indulgence

Companies are finding ways to offer plant-based and vegan alternatives for just about everything, including indulgent foods.

According to Innova Market Insights research, the number of confectionery products with vegan claims increased with a rapid CAGR of 17% between 2016-2020 in the UK. By comparison, the total number of new confectionery product launches (including vegan and non-vegan) only increased by a CAGR of 2% in the same period.

It’s clear that the vegan indulgence market is accelerating, with people looking for guilt-free desserts and sweet treats. By 2025, sales of dairy-free ice cream are expected to reach $1 billion globally.

The Impact of Veganism

The motivations for veganism vary from person to person, with the most common influencers being the environment, animal welfare, and health. But does veganism actually positively impact these key factors, or is it fiction rather than fact?

33. A Bunch of Health-Conscious Consumers

Across the globe, we’re becoming more health-conscious, which is one of the reasons why veganism is growing in popularity.

84% of consumers in the US state that their primary motivation for becoming vegan is to improve health and nutrition. Other similar reasons relating to health were top motivators, with 62% opting for veganism to control weight, while 51% claimed they wanted to eat cleaner.

Generally, there is a conception that a vegan diet is a healthy one. In China, consumers stated that they chose plant-based foods more often due to their low-fat content, low cholesterol, high nutritional value, and the fact they’re hormone-free.  

34. Concerns over Animal Welfare and the Environment

Improving personal health isn’t the only reason we’re switching to vegan diets.

A survey from the UK in 2018 showed that animal welfare concerns were the main reason for adopting a vegan diet, with 55% of responses. Environmental issues were also a key motivation for veganism, expressed as a concern by approximately 38% of respondents.

A more recent survey in the US in 2019 revealed similar results, with both animal welfare and environmental impact remaining a key reason for eating less meat. Not only do we believe that plant-based diets are better for us, but better for our planet too.

35. Veganuary Leaves a Lasting Impact

Veganuary is growing in popularity every year, with thousands worldwide taking part in the month-long challenge. However, it’s not just for fun — recent surveys show that people are sticking to their new habits and cutting down on animal-based products.

In a global survey, most people (48%) said they intended to reduce their meat consumption by 75% or more following their participation in Veganuary. And 25% of people said they’d cut down their meat intake by at least 50%. Only 1% said they wouldn’t change their diet at all, which is a clear indicator that people enjoy veganism's taste and benefits.

35. ...But Many Still Have Negative Attitudes Towards Vegan Alternatives 

 Consumer attitudes towards veganism aren’t unanimously positive, despite many of us recognizing the health and environmental benefits. 

A UK survey showed that most shoppers (31.6%) believe that plant-based alternatives are too expensive, preferring to stick to cheaper, animal-based protein instead. A further 25.6% also said they think vegan food is too processed and not as natural as typical meat products, while 23% believe they’re not as good a protein source.

36. Veganism Is Proven to Improve Health

Science has proven that a vegan diet is beneficial for our health, helping with weight management and reducing the risk of heart disease.

In terms of weight reduction, a study showed that a vegan diet helped participants lose approximately 9.3 lbs more than the control group during an 18-week period. Another study into heart disease showed that those who follow a predominantly plant-based diet are 32% less likely to develop cardiovascular problems. 

37. A Vegan Diet Can Reduce Cancer & Diabetes Risk

Vegan diets are high in nutrients, including antioxidants, fiber, folate, magnesium, and other key vitamins and minerals. Besides being beneficial for your overall health, a diet rich in these nutrients can help to reduce your risk of certain types of cancer and diabetes.

Studies have shown that consuming legumes (a critical food source on vegan diets) can lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer by between 9-18%. A vegan diet can also help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by as much as 23%.

38. ...And Increase Lifespan

On average, people following a vegan diet tend to have a notably longer lifespan compared to meat consumers. This is likely due to the considerably lower amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat in vegan diets, and the high concentration of nutrients found in most plant-based foods.

Female vegans experience an extended lifespan of approximately 6.1 years, while the increase is even more pronounced for men, with male vegans living, on average, an impressive 9.5 years longer.

If the entire global population were to adopt a vegan diet, estimations suggest we could reduce the number of worldwide deaths by as much as 8 million by the year 2050.

39. Meat Consumption Is Contributing Towards Climate Change

Rearing meat for consumption hugely increases CO2 production.

Beef is the worst culprit, producing around 39 kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of meat, while chicken and pork combined only produce 2 kilograms of CO2.

Overall, meat farming is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, making meat production one of the largest contributors to climate change.

40. Too Much of The World’s Water & Land Is Being Used for Agriculture

Not only does farming livestock produce nearly a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions, but it also leads to excessive water consumption and takes up vital space.

Around 45% of the earth’s surface is used for farming livestock, and 80% of the total farmland available is used to produce meat. If trends continue, we’ll struggle for space to rear the meat needed to feed our growing population.

Agriculture also accounts for 90% of the total US water consumption. On average, it takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1lb of meat. It only takes 25 gallons to produce 1lb of wheat.

41. Millions of Animals Are Slaughtered Daily

People often don’t pause to think about how many animals are actually killed every day to feed the global population.

In the US, around 25 million animals are slaughtered daily. This equates to approximately 70 billion animals for human consumption every year. This number increases even further when we look at animals reared for other purposes. In total, around 160 million animals are taken to slaughterhouses each day.

42. Veganism Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

Switching up your diet to include more vegan foods can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Actually, avoiding meat and dairy products can lower your carbon footprint by as much as 73%.

Worldwide, switching to vegan would create a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions, plus lower the amount of land used for agriculture from 1.6 billion hectares to 540 million hectares.

43. Animal Products Lead to Food Waste

As a global population, we waste tens of millions of tons of food every year. Meat accounts for 5% of all yearly food waste, equating to 74 million tons. Dairy accounts for 9% of all food waste, with around 143 million tons lost every year.

If the world turned vegan, we could cut food waste significantly, even with the mass amount of fruit and vegetables we throw away. With the food saved from wastage, a plant-based diet could stop many from going hungry, helping to feed a further 10 million people by 2050.

The Future of Veganism

Veganism is on the rise, but what are the key trends shaping the future of vegan culture? Consumers are making switches in all areas of their life, including food, fashion, and beauty.

44. The Number of Vegans Will Continue to Climb

In the UK, it’s estimated that vegetarians and vegans will make up 25% of the total population by 2025.

In the US, around 9.7 million people are vegan. The vegan trend is mostly driven by millennials, with at least a quarter of all American people aged 25-34 claiming to be vegan or vegetarian.

45. Meat Consumption Will Decline

Around the world, meat consumption is set to decline even further. In the last decade, meat consumption in the US has fallen by around 15% in total, especially red meat.

In China, country-wide efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions include a pledge to reduce the population’s meat consumption by at least 50% by 2030. The health ministry has advised people to eat between 40-75g of meat per day to reduce livestock farming and subsequent CO2 production.

If these trends continue, global meat consumption will drop substantially. By 2040, it’s estimated that only 40% of the global population will eat meat. 

46. Expect More Vegan Meat Substitutes 

The future looks bleak for sales of traditional meat. But we’ll be replacing it with new vegan meat substitutes instead.

The market share of conventional meat is expected to decline from 90% in 2025 to 40% by 2040. Vegan meat alternatives are on the opposite trajectory. The market share of vegan substitutes is set to reach 10% in 2025, rising to 25% by 2040. 

47. New Vegan Options: Especially Fish

Vegan meatless options have traditionally centered around beef and chicken, with other vegan-friendly meat options hitting our shelves in more recent years.

The plant-based fish market is accelerating fast due to increasing environmental and animal welfare concerns, plus a growing health-conscious population.

Between 2021 and 2031, the plant-based fish market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of approximately 28% globally, with new options such as fishless filets, burger patties, and flakes.

48. A New Key Player: Cultured Meat

As well as vegan substitutes, a new key player is fighting for market space and giving vegan food producers competition. Cultured meat is a relatively new phenomenon, referring to lab-grown meat using cultured animal cells.

For those concerned about animal welfare and the environment, cultured meat offers an alternative — animal protein without any slaughter or greenhouse gas emissions.

The global market share of cultured meat is expected to grow from 0% in 2025, to around 30% by 2040, holding more market space than vegan substitutes. In 2026, the global cultured meat market will be worth approximately $6,200 million. However, in China, it’ll be more than double at around $14,000 million.

49. North America Will Lead the Plant-Based Market

North America currently holds the most space in the plant-based meat market, and it’s set to increase further.

In 2019, North America’s market share of plant-based products stood at around 41.79%. By 2025, this is expected to grow to 44.37%, while both Europe and Asia Pacific’s market share will decline slightly.

Interestingly, North America’s market share is primarily driven by a largely lactose-intolerant population searching for dairy alternatives. Demand for no cholesterol and low-fat products is also surging, driving the dramatic increase in plant-based foods.

50. Even Babies Will Have Vegan Alternatives

Vegan alternatives aren’t just for the adult population. Many companies will now be marketing vegan options for babies to new parents.

The number of vegan and vegetarian baby food options in the UK increased by around 10.6% between 2016 and 2021, following the success of vegan baby food companies such as UK-based Mamamade, which recorded a 300% increase in sales during 2020.

Else Nutrition also saw major success in 2020, after releasing a 100% plant-based infant formula milk alternative.

The market for vegan baby food will continue to expand as major brands release new products. Heinz is set to launch an entirely plant-based baby menu, with many competitors likely to follow suit.

51. Fast Food Chains Will Offer More Vegan Options

Fast food chains are jumping on the vegan train and adapting their menus to include more plant-based options.

Well-known fast food brands have already offered vegan alternatives for many of their much-loved products. McDonald’s released their McPlant burger, and Pizza Hut partnered with Beyond Meat to create a series of plant-based pizzas. Burger King also began to offer a plant-based burger in partnership with Impossible Foods.

In 2020, the global vegan fast food market was valued at approximately $17 billion. This is expected to propel to $40.25 billion by 2028, with an impressive annual growth rate of 11.48% between 2021 and 2028.

52. The Vegan Beauty Industry Will See Massive Growth

Veganism isn’t only centered around food. Many people apply veganism to other aspects of their lifestyle, aiming to eradicate all animal-based products.

The vegan beauty industry is booming, with people searching for cruelty-free products. In fact, one survey showed that 44% of people actively look for cruelty-free products. 40% also said they look for beauty products that contain 100% vegan ingredients.

Currently, the worldwide vegan beauty industry’s market value is around $16.29 billion, which is forecast to grow year on year. By 2025, the market value will be approximately $20.8 billion.

53. …And So Will Vegan-Friendly Fashion

Similar to the beauty industry, vegan fashion is experiencing a rapid expansion. Consumers are interested in making vegan choices for their wardrobes, which includes swapping out animal-based products like fur and leather for faux, cruelty-free versions.

In 2021, the valuation of the US vegan fashion industry reached an impressive $396.3 billion, with a projected annual growth rate of 13.6% up until 2027. Currently, footwear is dominating the vegan fashion sector, with manufacturers turning to alternative materials that replicate fur, suede, and leather. This trend reflects a broader societal shift towards more sustainable and ethical consumption.

The Bottom Line

As a global population, we’re exposed to huge amounts of information on how our actions affect the wider environment. People are starting to pay attention to what all these facts and figures are telling us, and as a result, they’re changing their lifestyles and diets. It’s little wonder that this includes making healthier, more environmentally friendly plant-based swaps.

This increased demand can be seen in the number of vegan products now on offer, from meal delivery services to make-up. This in turn makes becoming vegan even easier and more accessible, so we can expect to see a huge uptick in health, animal welfare, and environmental benefits as more and more people try out a vegan lifestyle.

Trends don’t suggest that we’ll say goodbye to meat entirely. But they show that we’re more conscious of what we’re buying and eating than ever before – with people cutting down and showing interest in alternatives. 

One thing’s for sure, veganism is set to rise, and fast. So what swaps will you be making?

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