Veganism had its small introduction in my previous article but now we take this trend to the next level. Veganism has never been so popular as now. Mintel, thé experts who analyse the highest quality of data and do market research, confirms this trend. Their new research is revealing growing interest in eating meat-free and flexitarianism – a plant-based diet with the occasional inclusion of meat – in Germany. Since 2011, the number of vegan-labeled meals has grown more than twentyfold. Vegans do not eat or use anything that comes from animals. However, in my opinion there is a difference between eating vegan and being vegan. If you are eating vegan, you are eating plant-based. When you are a vegan you do not eat animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products and honey (likewise if you are eating plant-based) but you also do not use leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products. Are you still with me?
Drivers of Veganism
Veganism has been on the edge into the mainstream for a few years now. It is one of the most effective choices a person can make to reduce the suffering of animals, help the planet and improve personal health. Many challenges or vegan diets are inspiring people, such as Veganuary. This is a global campaign that encourages people to try out veganism, you guessed it, in January. For many, these challenges are inspirations to decide to go vegan for various reasons. There are many different opinions but this means that veganism goes beyond the group who does it for ethical reasons. However, not everyone is convinced since there is so much conflicting information about it. One expert declares you need meat to help develop your body and be strong, while the other expert with equal creditability says the complete opposite. This makes it quite confusing for a non-nutrition expert, so I would advice you to do your own research and create your own opinion about it.
The influential vegans are taking over social media, Instagram in particular with delicious looking pictures. The vegan sushi burger that went viral a few weeks ago ensures not yet that everybody was licking his screen. Does this all mean that 2016 will be the year for veganism to go mainstream?
Nowadays, it is not just hip and healthy to eat plant-based; it also suits the new era of awareness. There are many driving forces. According to Mintel, health-conscious Millennials are the biggest leaders behind this trend. People are gaining more knowledge through the Internet. Recently, I saw the Cowspiracy which got me thinking: I honestly do not know what I am eating for example if I buy something from the supermarket.
Above this, it is easier than ever being vegan through plant-based companies that are also offering meal delivery services, such as SLA, Dophert and YAY. So even with a busy lifestyle, time cannot be an excuse.
Brands X Trends
Vegan products are expanding and more vegan products are entering the market. Cheese is replaced by cashew cheese and vegan eggs of which the main ingredient is Algal flour and this replaces eggs. If that is not enough, more companies are innovating with this trend as well. Even the ones that you are not expecting and are not even food related:
Some innovative companies like Tesla, Ben & Jerry’s and St. James Gate Brewery of Guinness, are able to use trends into their innovations. However, many companies have the inability to cope with uncertainties on a business and branding level. In different countries there are many trends active at the same time. Which trends are important to use for the company and how will these develop in the upcoming years? Scenario planning could be a useful method that helps anticipate on how trends might impact the industry. It is a practice that combines creative thinking with interpreting and making up scenarios.
Companies and brands could use trends on different levels. They can use it for new products, services and experiences but also for their brand strategy, strategic partnerships/collaboration and last but not least for marketing, advertising and PR purposes.
What’s your opinion about the rise of the vegans? Is it something you are considering? Please, share your thoughts with us!
We hope that we have inspired you one way or the other by reading this article.