Results of the current Veganz nutrition study

Why do people in Europe choose vegan or flexitarian lifestyles? Do food innovations such as test tube meat or insects appeal at all and has the greater number of climate crises led to changes in the way people consume? We took another good look at the eating habits of omnivores and vegans and learned more about the eating and shopping habits in those respective countries.

The results have been remarkable:

  • More than 50% of non-vegans in Germany intend to reduce their consumption of animal-derived products in the future
  • More than 80% of vegetarians want to go vegan in the future
  • Vegan alternatives to milk are the #1 alternative products
  • The end of meat is in sight: one in every five Europeans is already flexitarian
  • More than a third of Europeans can imagine eating lab-grown meat and cheese

Following the two previous studies in 2019 and 2020, we are now publishing our third nutrition study. We again asked around 5300 participants from six European countries about their attitudes toward nutrition and environmental protection, among other things.

Among them are:

  • Germany
  • Austria
  • France
  • Italy
  • Great Britain
  • Spain

Do you also think it’s incredibly interesting to see what ends up on the plate in European households? Then you should follow the upcoming lines with interest, as we have summarized the most important insights for you!

General information about the survey

We are pleased to report that a total of 5,311 people from six different European countries responded to our online survey. It was very interesting to see which diets the Europeans currently have and how that varied by country. The following representative results emerged:

2,3 % vegan
4,1 % vegetarian
2,9 % pescetarian
18,3 % flexitarian
72,3 % omnivor

We are not only seeing a rise in the consumption of plant-based foods, but also a growing willingness to make changes towards a flexitarian or even vegan/vegetarian diet. The main driver is climate change which unfortunately no longer stops at one’s own front door, thus making it an increasing force to be reckoned with by the population. The situation appears to be more serious than ever before as people are directly affected by environmental disasters such as the recent severe flooding in Germany. Events like this have created a call to action, as seen recently in France, where several organisations have filed a climate lawsuit with the government.  We seem to be witnessing a new era when it comes to climate consciousness and climate-friendly actions.

Vegan-Map: This is where most vegans live

The United Kingdom is the clear winner when you compare the countries by the number of vegans. Our study shows that 3.2% of the people who live there are on entirely plant-based diets. The UK also has the highest number of vegetarians: 5.6% of people in the UK between the ages of 16 and 64 are vegetarian. That’s 1.5% more than the European average.

At 2.3%, Italy ranks second for the number of vegans, closely followed by Germany with 2.2%. As a comparison, France has the smallest number of vegans at just 2.0%.

All six countries at a glance:

The following overview breaks down in detail how many people in the 6 countries studied belong to the various dietary groups.

The future belongs to flexitarians

Even if the number of vegans and vegetarians has risen, most of the population is still consuming meat and other products of animal origin: 18.3% of Europeans consider themselves flexitarians.

According to the german society for nutrition, “flexitarians” […] also known as flexible vegetarians. They reject factory farming, want to protect the environment, promote their health but still don’t give up meat entirely “.

Source: DGE: 10/2021)

We already started seeing a noticeable trend towards lower and more conscious meat consumption last year. Since flexitarians are the largest dietary group after omnivores, they play a significant role when it comes to effectively reducing the consumption of meat and other animal-derived products and thus in fighting climate change.

Flexitarians can improve CO2 emissions, too: simply reducing the quantity of animal products you consume has a positive impact on the environment. Each and every step towards plant-based eating is valuable and incredibly important in achieving the goal of keeping global warming as close to 1.5 degrees as possible by the year 2100. But that’s not all. Flexitarian consumers are generating an interesting trend in the retail sector, by helping to bring vegan products out from their niche position and make them mainstream.

Test tube meat, lab-grown cheese and insects

Researchers have been working for years on developing lab-grown meat, i.e. test tube meat, and lab-grown cheese. The aim is to create a product that is identical to the original, just with a different production process.  According to our study, a total of 33.5% of European respondents can imagine eating lab-grown meat.

How many respondents can imagine eating lab grown meat?:

Lab-grown cheese was even more popular across Europe with 36.9%. In Germany, the percentage of people willing to eat artificial cheese is even as high as 42.8% – more than the European average. Here, it’s particularly telling that the greatest approval comes from vegans and vegetarians: At 57.8%, more than half of European vegans can imagine eating lab-grown cheese, despite the fact that they wouldn’t normally eat cheese. Among vegetarians, a whopping 72.2% would eat the cheese of the future. Among pescetarians, more than half (54.3%) would not be put off by the idea.

Insects on a plate? No way!

We’ve been hearing about insects as food regularly over the past months. You can actually already get some types of insects in the form of burgers or bars, but shops are certainly not rushing to give them shelf space. That is because even though they are available, acceptance for creepy crawlies on our plates is still fairly low at 28.7%: 71.3%, i.e. the majority of Europeans surveyed, oppose the idea of insects in the kitchen. When compared to the acceptance of lab-grown cheese, edible insects are really not a viable option for European vegans: A mere 7% of vegans in Europe would be willing to integrate insects into their diet.

What comes next?

We feel encouraged in the work we have done over the past years and equally inspired by all the input and insights – we couldn’t have done it without you. So, once again, many thanks for everything you’ve done thus far!

These results allow us to find out more about consumers and to better understand their needs. From this we can draw helpful conclusions that will support us in achieving our vision: to motivate people all over the world to adopt a plant-based diet and to practice environmental responsibility. In doing so, we want to create a sustainable future for all living beings on the planet. As a full-range provider of vegan foods, we are already working every day to offer a diverse selection of tasty plant-based products and innovations. At the same time, it is important to us to be transparent in our actions and behavior and to be respectful towards all living beings and nature. 

You want more fantastic facts about our nutrition survey? You can see all the results of the survey HERE.

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