The sustainability movement has reached critical mass, and veganism has seen a nuclear-level explosion in popularity alongside it. And in case you haven’t heard, Veganuary is a month-long challenge to try on a vegan lifestyle at the beginning of every year that’s helping things along.
And since it’s resolution season, a growing number of people are giving it a go. Here, we’ll dig into the consumer and market intelligence as consumers and brands share their Veganuary love on social media. Specifically, we’ll take a look at:
- The power of vegan love and vegan influencers
- Brands buying in and winning big
- The future of sustainable food
And here are a few stats we uncovered to help shed light on the conversation:
- Veganuary was the brainchild of a UK-based nonprofit of the same name and has grown steadily since its inception in 2014. Over 250k participants took the challenge in 2019 and grew to top 400k people signing on for the 2020 event.
- Veganism is popular with sustainability proponents since, in contrast to a meat-centric diet, a vegan diet generates6% fewer greenhouse emissions and 26.9% less energy to produce.
- Interest in veganism is seeing exponential growth over the last few years. By 2020, internet searches for “veganism” had doubled since 2015, while tripling in countries like Australia, France and Spain.
With that, let’s jump in on this emerging trend and see who’s spreading the vegan message.
The Power of Vegan Love & Vegan Influencers
North America and Europe are the two largest regions driving the growing vegan craze. And concerns over animal cruelty and negative ecological impacts are pushing many to take the leap – or at least lean further in the vegan direction with their diets.
Brands using consumer intelligence and market intelligence to spot emerging trends will want to pay attention to the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in the coming years for growth opportunities. Rising animal rights awareness, health consciousness and disposable incomes are pushing an embrace of vegan lifestyles in the area.
Sentiment is in the stratosphere as we round the mid-point of the month-long challenge, as you can see below. It had already hit over three billion potential impressions at the halfway mark and tapered off toward the end, but still held strong. Overall, it obtained nearly 4 billion potential impressions by the end of the month.
And one of the most endearing influencers in the vegan space is none other than Tik-Tok sensation Tabitha Brown. Known for her humorous and down to earth style, she’s amassed over 4.5 million followers on Tik-Tok who tune in for her vegan recipes, advice and cooking tips.
And people absolutely love what she has to say, which is evidenced by her explosive popularity. She only created her channel in March of last year and drew two million followers in just five weeks, ending the year named as one of the platform’s top-ten creators for 2020.
Brands Buying In & Winning Big
The 2021 campaign has already overshadowed last year’s event by signing up over half a million people dedicated to the challenge. And brands everywhere are bringing their A-game to the vegan table for a piece of the action. Here’s a look at a few of them.
Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market has rolled out its new menu for the new year, and it’s full of vegan choices that offers welcome variety for newcomers to the vegan world. They also have other menu items that can be made vegan on request and are noted on the menu.
Other health food brands are offering special discounts for Veganuary participants. Robeks and Just Salad are two such brands highlighting their vegan-friendly options with deals for challenge takers on juices, salads and smoothies.
Wholesale retailer Costco included a two-page spread on Veganuary in its monthly mailer, which went out to its fifteen million members. Not only does it help raise awareness, but it also contains tips, stats and recipes to offer support for vegan newbies.
Hellmann’s has added three new flavors to its vegan mayo lineup just in time for this year’s event. And they’ve also added dedicated vegan recipe ideas to their website, along with several vegan giveaway promotions.
Plant-based restaurant Veggie Grill is wearing Veganuary on their homepage like a badge of honor. And their menu is a goldmine for vegans wanting to eat out. They’re also running specials that are unlocked through their dedicated smartphone apps to entice deal-seeking participants. Veggie Grill also provided the food for Tabitha Brown’s Veganuary video referenced previously.
Nestlé, in tandem with its foodservice outlets, is offering specials on its plant-based Sweet Earth product line. And not only that, they’re joining in on a growing sub-trend of companies encouraging their workforces to join in the challenge.
Nonprofit Partnership & Worldwide Appeal
Veganuary has partnered with Yelp to be their nonprofit partner of the month this January to support the yearly event. Not only that, they’ve launched their Vegan Voyage campaign, which runs through January and February and promotes vegan-friendly businesses throughout North America using a variety of virtual events.
For the first few years, most participants were based in the UK as that’s where Veganuary got its start. However, the campaign has now logged participants from 192 countries and seen participation in North America double from 2019 to 2020. And social listening reveals the growth of this emerging trend as the conversation spreads across the globe.
And that’s in no small part to a growing number of sponsors that are putting their weight behind international legs of the campaign, such as Mercy for Animals, Beyond Meat, Good Catch, The Humane League and Green Monday, to name a few.
The Future of Sustainable Food
The sustainability conversation is an emerging trend that has steadily grown louder with every passing year, and that’s especially true with the role that food has to play within it. Sustainable food resonates strongly with the millennial and gen Z demographics, who are incidentally big proponents of veganism and the plant-based food boom in general. Growth of vegan interests varies by geographic location but is on the upswing in many countries, as you can see below.
As of now, 65% of consumers actively seek out products that tick off the sustainability and social responsibility checkboxes. And since sustainable food is growing in the mainstream consciousness, brands will want to drill down into their target demographics with focused consumer and market intelligence to fine-tune their marketing approach. Here’s a look at the primary professions driving the vegan conversation over the last thirty days.
In general, veganism is riding the sustainability wave into the public eye and shows no signs of slowing down. And brands up to date on their consumer and market intelligence are well-positioned to leverage micro-trends such as Veganuary to raise brand awareness within emerging trends.
Is your brand capturing actionable insights from the hullabaloo of online? Don’t miss out on opportunities to get your brand in on the conversations relevant to your segment. Reach out for a demo, and we’ll get your social listening fine-tuned for a vibrant 2021!