Veganism is becoming mainstream, and that’s reflected in the vegan industry trends and demographics we’ve seen this year and will continue to see through 2019. For a diet that excludes meat, dairy, and eggs (and used to be considered slightly odd), this dramatic shift is nothing short of remarkable.
So what’s the reason? What’s driving people to switch to a plant-based lifestyle, and what are the trends to look out for in 2019?
The astonishing growth of veganism
Health, climate catastrophes, and animal welfare are considered the main reasons for becoming vegan. Dr. Marco Springmann, James Martin fellow at the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food in the U.K., modelled what he thought a vegan planet would look like in 2050. He predicts that if the world adopts a vegan diet, we can:
- Beat climate change
- Save trillions of dollars in healthcare and environmental costs
- Save more than eight million lives
Following a vegan diet is also simpler and easier than it has ever been. Vegan food is becoming more readily available and cheaper as it goes mass-market.
A multitude of vegan cookbooks, dedicated blogs, YouTube channels, documentaries, celebrity influencers and startups are tapping into and driving this growth.
The Vegan Society has said that demand for meat-free food increased by 987% in 2017 and going vegan was predicted to be the biggest food trend in 2018.
Where is the vegan industry trending in 2019?
Vegan trend 1: Sales of meat and dairy substitutes will dramatically increase
This is a trend which has already started and is set to expand radically in 2019 as food producers, supermarkets, and independent businesses shift their focus to meat and dairy substitutes in a bid to meet huge market demand.
According to Forbes, sales of cow’s milk are declining as plant-based substitutes become increasingly popular and readily available. The global meat substitutes market is forecast to be worth $5.2 billion by 2020. Likewise, the vegan cheese market is predicted to turn over just under $4 billion by 2024, and global sales of pea protein will be worth $104 million by 2026.
Major corporations are also getting involved. The largest meat processor in the U.S., Tyson Foods, has invested in vegan brand Beyond Meat. IKEA sells vegan meatballs in all its stores, and Danone invested has invested $60 million in plant-based products.
Vegan trend 2: Vegan will be the new organic
You just need to go into a grocery store and look at the proliferation of vegan foodstuffs to understand that vegan could overtake organic as the next big thing. Grocery store shelves are where you’ll find innovative products from new business startups alongside new vegan products from many household name brands.
With an estimated 31% of Americans now practicing meat-free days, companies like Wal-Mart are asking their suppliers to focus on plant-based product development, and Nestlé wants to ride the plant-based trend that they believe is only going to grow.
Vegan trend 3: Vegan food options in restaurants will catch up with household options
Currently, there is more choice and availability of vegan food to eat at home than at a restaurant. We’ll see more restaurants catching up on this trend in 2019 and providing plant-based options.
- Burger joints and pizzerias will more commonly offer vegan ‘cheese’
- The success of meat-substitute burgers from Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger will continue, and spread into other meat substitutes
- Traditionally meat-based restaurants like steakhouses will increase their plant-based options
- Vegan ice cream will become more common, with Ben & Jerry's and Haagen-Dazs already leading the way
We can see examples of this trend taking root, with 51% of chefs in the U.S. adding vegan options over the last year, and the U.K.’s 2019 Good Food Guide featuring a list of restaurants with a dedicated vegan menu for the first time.
Vegan trend 4: The number of vegan ingredient suppliers will explode
The number of vegan ingredient suppliers is of course increasing as the vegan industry expands. If the industry grows at the predicted rate, existing suppliers will expand their product ranges as countless new suppliers launch into the market.
At Stratum Nutrition, our new ingredient Ahiflower®, offered in partnership with Nature's Crops International, has effectiveness and science in one powerful vegan Omega 3-6-9. Because of growing demand and vegan industry trends, our nutraceutical formulators are always looking for pure, sustainable, and traceable sources of ingredients.
The unique ingredients and superior formulations we use help people achieve a higher quality of life through health ingredients. For more information about our vegan ingredients, please contact us.