Veganism and Millennials: Hipsters not Hippies

8 February, 2018 • Uncategorized • by

42 perecent of U.K. vegans are between the ages of 15-34

An important part of market research online communities is to identify growing trends among customers and non-customers. I am always interested in hearing about research that identifies a growing trend. Recently at our office we seem to have a few more vegans on staff than we have had in years past. They happen to be under 40. So it was interesting to read a recent Vice Munchies article entitled This Is Why Millennials Are All Turning Vegan. The author Daisy Meager looks at the growing trend of veganism among Millennials. The article is based on recent numbers released from the Vegan Society which has seen the number of vegans in the UK grow by an astounding 350 percent in the past ten years. The largest segment of these new vegans are those between the ages of 15 and 34, accounting for 42 percent. So what is driving these young Millennials to choose plant based foods over animal based foods? Some of the major motivators are environmental concerns, health concerns, and concern for animals.   

Hipsters Not Hippies

Meager explains how the vegan stereotype was sandals, the smell of hemp and commune living. But this is no longer the case as detailed from a new survey from Vegan Life Magazine and the Vegan Society, veganism is now trendy. The magazine surveyed 10,000 people across Wales, Scotland and England showing that at least 542,000 people are following a vegan diet. The largest concentration was among Millennials at 42 percent compared to 14 percent those 65 and over. The largest concentration of vegans in the UK a whopping 88 percent lived in London.

World Health Organization’s Report Linked Processed Meats to Cancer

The author writes that one factor in the popularity of the diet could be due to the World Health Organization’s report that came out last year linking processed meats to cancer. A few months after that was released it showed that ⅓ of Brits had decreased their meat consumption. The article also mentions that celebrity endorsement of the diet may also play a part, combined with the ethical and environmental benefits of the diet.   

The reality of this dramatic increase is cause for concern for companies like McDonald’s, and other fast food restaurants who have very few meal options to offer this rapidly growing segment. A market research online community can help large fast food companies to see the growing trends among customers or non-customers that they might invite to participate in research. Using quantitative research can identify these behaviours while qualitative research can help go deeper to find the motivating factors behind these behaviours. Identifying growing trends such as veganism early on, can help the company prepare and capitalize on being the first to market with products that serve this growing segment. The companies that were researching growing trends among millennials can suddenly be the first to have a product that this large segment wants rather than complain that they aren’t buying the product you have created.  

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