Vegan products are surging worldwide as more and more brands offer plant-based alternatives for meat and dairy products, often under the headline that vegan products are more sustainable and will help us solve some of our climate challenges.
In a recent study by us, however, we found that consumers’ primary motivation for consuming vegan products is not to help the environment; rather it is health. And maybe that is why 67% of consumers already enjoying vegan products actually identify as omnivores (eating meat, dairy and everything else); vegan products are not (just) for vegans [Opeepl].
In our study, 50% of consumers say they plan to consume more vegan products in 2022. Of those, 21% will be new to the category while the remaining 79% already do and plan to do it more in 2022.
And consumers do not just feel adventurous when walking the grocery shop aisle: veganism was the most discussed diet online in 2021 with food alternatives like almond milk and tofu being some of the most mentioned products in online conversations [Brandwatch].
So, has the world gone vegan? No, only 14% say their dietary preference is the key decision factor for choosing vegan products.
Have vegan products managed to position themselves as part of the solution to fight climate change then?
While a fifth of consumers do go for vegan products out of environmental considerations, there is another, much more instant reward for choosing vegan products in the eyes of consumers: health.
Thus, 46% of vegan product consumers say health is their primary motivation for choosing them.
And it seems vegan products are regarded as a natural part of a healthier lifestyle in 2022: 59% of consumers planning to exercise more in 2022 also plan to consume more vegan products [Opeepl].
So it seems consumers are motivated by making a difference for planet Earth - right after making a difference for their own health.
Does your vegan product positioning take both of these consumer agendas into account?