Everyone has an opinion on veganism, whether you’re a fully fledged vegan warrior, an advocate for meat free mondays or a full blown carnivore, chances are you’ve thought about following a more plant-based diet at some point (even if you decided it wasn’t for you).
Despite the many pitfalls of 2020, it has been a tremendously good year for veganism. According to The Vegan Society, this year every one of the top UK supermarkets developed their own vegan range, whilst every one of the top restaurants and takeaway outlets offered vegan or plant based alternatives on their menu. In fact, between November 2019 and November 2020, Deliveroo saw a 115% rise in orders for vegan food*.
With 2020 being hailed as the year of the vegan and Veganuary just around the corner, we at Vibrant Vegan decided to check out what the numbers say about veganism in the UK. Using publicly available data from TripAdvisor and Just-Eat, as well as internal sales data, we have been able to determine which towns and cities are home to the most vegans.
The 10 cities that are home to the most vegans are as follows:
According to data gathered from Google Trends, over the last three years interest in vegan diets and food sources peaks every January; in 2019, the number of January searches for vegan diets was double the number in January 2017, indicating it is a growing trend. Also on the rise is the interest in the non-profit initiative, Veganuary; starting in 2014 with just over 3000 participants, Veganuary has seen interest soar over the years, hitting a record in 2020 with over 400,000 sign ups**.
Despite recent spikes in interest, veganism is most definitely nothing new, in 2017 the demand for meat-free food in the UK increased by a staggering 987%, with 42% of British vegans making the switch in 2018*. Interestingly, the rise of veganism has continued to grow even through the pandemic, with 1 in 5 Brits cutting down on meat consumption and 15% reducing their dairy/egg intake during the first lockdown***.
Of those who reduced their meat or dairy intake, over 2 in 5 (43%) cited health, environmental or animal rights as the reason for doing so. The stockpiling of food as a result of Britain’s first lockdown was also a prompt for many to buy meat free products, due to their preferred meat product being unavailable and the lower price of many meat alternatives***
Research also shows that half of those who bought vegan products in the first lockdown intended to continue purchasing them, while 52% of those buying soy milk and 42% of those buying almond milk said the same***
At Vibrant Vegan we’re advocates for the wonders that a balanced vegan diet can do for physical and mental health. Balanced, plant based diets are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, all of which can help reduce the risk of diabetes and autoimmune diseases, protect against certain cancers and improve blood-sugar regulation.
Iain Burke-Hamilton, founder of Vibrant Vegan, said,
“Veganism has been rapidly growing in popularity over the last few years and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. Brits are becoming more socially conscious and aware of what they are consuming and as such the need for vegan food and meat/dairy alternatives on our shelves is higher than ever before.
“Delving into the data it wasn’t overly surprising to discover that London is home to the most vegans, it’s diverse and extensive vegan offering makes going plant-based very easy for inhabitants. We hope Brits continue to explore veganism and the flexitarian trend, because the benefits of incorporating more vegan foods to both a person’s health and the environment is huge.”
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