In October, Vegan Food & Living magazine launched a survey of British vegans to find out who they are, how long they’ve been vegan, and which are their favourite foods, retailers and restaurants. More than 8,300 people responded, giving the most up-to-date snapshot of vegans and their preferences in the UK.
What makes vegans tick?
Three-quarters (75%) of those who classed themselves as vegan or plant-based had adopted the lifestyle in the last five years.
Overall, 71% said their main reason for going vegan was animal welfare. However, motivation seems to be changing – of those who became vegan within the last year, 39% said the environment was the most important reason. For those who’d gone vegan in the last 6 months, 36% classed health as their biggest motivation.
When asked to name the best supermarket for vegans, Tesco and Sainsbury’s came out absolutely neck and neck – with 19% classing them both as very good and 40% good.
At the bottom of the pile were Aldi and Lidl, with just 2% classing both as very good for vegan options.
This is a mixed bag with 84% of people thinking there is a good selection of plant milks available, but just 22% saying that vegan cheese is any good. Almost half (46%) would like to see a greater choice of ready-made sandwiches.
The restaurant most favoured by vegans is Wagamama, which attracted 54% of the vote. No doubt its sizeable vegan menu featuring the ever-popular vegan katsu curry has something to do with its overwhelming popularity. This was followed by Zizzi and Pizza Express.
But where won’t vegans eat? 57% of people said they would never eat at KFC, even if there were more vegan options. This compares to 43% who said they would never go to McDonald’s and 36% for Nando’s.
Publisher of Vegan Food & Living, Sally FitzGerald, comments: “We were really excited to carry out this survey because so many companies make decisions about vegan products and services based on what they believe the UK’s vegans think and want – but we wanted to find out what the truth was!
“And what we found is that motivations are changing, and manufacturers and retailers have plenty of room for improvement in certain areas, but those who are getting it right, are well supported by the growing number of vegans in the UK. As we head towards Veganuary, and another vegan boom, we must all make sure that we are keeping up with what people want and need.”