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Data from a new survey showed that one in five Americans have revealed that their diets are completely different than five years ago. Researchers attribute this change to the rise in health-conscious consumers who are “vegan-curious”.
Health needs driving the diet shift
Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Modern Table, the survey collected data from 2,000 U.S. residents. 19% said that their present diet has changed over time. Out of these people, 41% cited health and dietary needs for diet change, 35% switched for their personal tastes and 19% pointed to environmental concerns.
Respondents were asked about their dietary choices and the trends in food shopping, for instance, the rise in the demand for plant-based foods. Almost half (49%) called themselves omnivorous, eating animal and plant-based products and 17% have only animal-based products. Compared to female respondents (12%), 26% of male respondents favoured an all-meat diet.
The data further revealed that one in three respondents identified as vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian – those reducing their consumption of animal-based foods and incorporating more plant-based ones. In the U.S. alone, more than half of young Americans identify as flexitarians, and globally, 42% of consumers are following flexitarianism.
However, the number of vegans is relatively small. Almost 12 times as many respondents (51%) stated that they usually call vegan eating “rabbit food”, and out of this 3% follow veganism.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Modern Table, Nick Banuelos said: “All too often, people mistakenly assume that eating a vegan diet means completely giving up your favorite foods, sacrificing taste or expecting to lose out on protein and other important nutrients. That’s simply not the case. In fact, more and more alternatives are coming to market every day. Using plant-based ingredients and unique flavor profiles that often end up being healthier than their traditional counterparts.”
Increase in consumption of vegan foods
Nearly 46% of the remaining respondents said that they’ve tried vegan diets or have thought of switching completely to plant-based foods with one in 10 are consuming more vegan foods than before.
A further 60% have even tried cooking their vegan food. Out of this, 48% of respondents opted to cook their own meals to incorporate healthy elements in their meals.
When asked how they expect vegan foods to be like, 49% stated healthy, 48% referred to them as plant-based and 38% expected it to be natural.
In addition, respondents ranked processed(35%), vegan (27%) and plant-based(25%) as some of the top divisive words on food labels.
Around 46% believed they can tell the difference between a vegan product and a non-vegan one. However, half the poll revealed that they tend to bring products home without knowing realizing its vegan.
53% stated that their food choices have more or less stayed the same. Out of this, three-fourths of respondents strictly follow a diet to control their eating habits. They achieve this through intermittent fasting(26%), ketogenic eating (20%) and calorie-counting(38%).
Lead image courtesy of Lazy Kat Kitchen.