4 Mins Read
Bet you thought cats ruled the Internet, didn’t you? According to the latest Google trends, it might just be vegan food brands—vegan meat, specifically.
According to recent Google search data, Beyond Meat is the world’s most Googled vegan food brand—about 422,000 searches per month globally. That’s double its nearest competitor, Oatly.
“As vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets increase in popularity and become ever more mainstream, it’s fascinating to see which vegan brands are the most searched in the world, as well as which brands dominate in each country,” a research spokesperson said in a statement. “The popularity of brands like Beyond Meat and Quorn shows our interest in plant-based meat, while the prevalence of Oatly and Alpro reflect the increasing demand for dairy alternatives.”
The diet is indeed increasing in popularity; poll after poll continues to shine a light on the demand for vegan meat, eggs, and dairy products. Sales of plant-based foods are expected to reach $162 billion by 2030, a Bloomberg report said last month.
The top five also includes Quorn, Eat Just, and Follow Your Heart.
Beyond Meat’s global reach
It should come as no surprise that Beyond Meat is at the top of the pile. The El Segundo, California-based brand has a global presence—bigger than its closest U.S. competitor in the space, Impossible Foods.
While the latter is popular in the U.S., with its Impossible Whopper at Burger King and last week’s U.S. vegan nuggets launch, it has only recently started its global expansion.
The hold up has largely been due to the use of a controversial ingredient, the genetically modified soybean root that produces a substance called heme. It’s used to give the vegan burgers a meaty taste and texture. But because it’s a novel ingredient, that has slowed approval in some parts of the world.
Beyond Meat has a presence in more than 122,000 retail and foodservice outlets in more than 80 countries. It’s got partnerships in Asia—its vegan options began appearing on McDonald’s menus in China last March.
It has also secured distribution partnerships across Europe, working with a major meat supplier to distribute its vegan burgers and sausages to protein aisles across the region.
The brand made its Asian debut in Hong Kong, shortly after it first launched its Beyond Burgers. Green Common was the first to bring the brand to market and has helped deliver the brand awareness across the Asia-Pacific region.
The most searched vegan brands
Similar to Beyond Meat, the number two spot holder, Oatly, has become a global phenomenon bringing its dairy-free oat milk to more than 20 markets worldwide. Its clever marketing efforts have made it a fan favorite, even despite controversies surrounding the brand.
Both Beyond Meat and Oatly went public in recent years; Beyond Meat went public in May 2019; it was the first major vegan meat brand to IPO. Oatly’s IPO launched last May.
UK-based vegan brand Quorn sits in the third spot; it sees about 95,000 monthly searches, but its popularity is increasing with its recent shift to make all offerings vegan. It has received endorsements from Olympians and celebrities as it continues its global expansion.
San Francisco’s Eat Just, which brought the vegan mung bean egg global, grabs the fourth spot. While the brand started out with vegan mayo, its hero product these days is the vegan Just Egg. Just has also developed cultured meat; it became the first company in the world to receive regulatory approval for cell-based meat. It’s now selling that in Singapore.
Another California brand rounds out the list—Los Angeles-based Follow Your Heart. It’s best known for its vegan mayonnaise, Vegenaise. But in recent years its dairy-free cheeses have become global staples in their own right, appear at pizza chains around the world.
Images courtesy Beyond Meat, Oatly