Interest in veganism has reached an all-time high this year, data from Google Trends shows. It reflects the notable rise in popularity of plant-based diets and vegan lifestyles around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic, with consumers increasingly conscious of the dangers of the meat supply chain and prioritising health, safety and sustainability.
According to a report analysing the popularity of veganism by Chef’s Pencil, a food media outlet, the number of vegan search terms logged around the world have surpassed the prior all-time high recorded in 2019. Using Google Trends to see how many people are searching for vegan food in different languages, the research finds that veganism is now “twice as popular as it was just five years ago, and it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.”
Veganism is stronger than ever, as you can see by the number of countries whose cuisine traditionally is greatly meat- and dairy-based seeing a big rise in veganism.Chef’s Pencil
More specifically, the report notes that while some searchers are googling general terms out of interest or curiosity about veganism, there is a high volume of searches recorded this year that represented a “clear intent to eat vegan”. Examples of such terms include “vegan recipes” or “vegan restaurants near me”.
“Veganism is stronger than ever, as you can see by the number of countries whose cuisine traditionally is greatly meat- and dairy-based seeing a big rise in veganism,” read the report.
In particular, the countries where plant-based consumption is seeing the most vegan searches include the United Kingdom, Australia and Israel. In terms of cities, Bristol, Portland and Edinburgh topped the list for where veganism is most popular this year.
Data emerging over the last couple of months, especially during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, has all pointed to the rise in popularity of plant-based foods. In March, vegan meat sales in the U.S. soared by 280% as the meat supply chain faced disruption due to slaughterhouse outbreaks and ongoing livestock diseases such as African swine fever.
In Hong Kong, a recent poll found that a quarter of the city’s young shoppers are now going to reduce their meat intake as a direct result of the pandemic, with similar results recorded in the surveys conducted in the U.K. Meanwhile, South Korea reported a tripling in its vegan population and Japan’s plant-based food scene has exploded with vegan konbini to 100% dairy and egg-free Japanese bakeries.
Lead image courtesy of Joy Food Sunshine.