Rise of Veganism, Vegetarianism Is Not as It Seems

Flexitarians may have larger impact on growing demand for plant-based foods


After reading any report on the eating habits of U.S. consumers today and taking a look at new food product introductions, you could assume that plant food and vegetarianism is leading the trends, but you would be wrong.

Gallup poll has found that fewer than 1 in 10 Americans adheres to a plant-based diet with just 5% of people saying they are vegetarian and 3% saying they are vegan.

Take a closer look at the numbers and you’ll find that 7% of people ages 18-29 say they are vegetarian, while 3% say they are vegan. In the 30-49 age bracket, 8% are vegetarian, while 4% are vegan. Those figures fall drastically to 3% and 2%, respectively, among over 65-year-olds.

Surprisingly, vegans and vegetarians are most likely to be earning below $30,000 a year while these diets are significantly fewer among high earners.  

So why are we seeing more and more vegan and vegetarian restaurants open their doors? And why are we seeing supermarket shelves booming with alternatives to meat and dairy products?

What the survey does not show, and should to be fair, is that many consumers are eating more plant-based foods, but occasionally. Programs like Meatless Monday has driven many to balance their diets rather than simply eliminate all meat or dairy products from their diets.


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