With eco-friendly initiatives on the rise, more people than ever before are turning to plant-based diets. Concerns about sustainability and health are causing people around the world to take a close look at their lifestyle habits. This is not just a niche market though. Small companies are starting up and taking advantage of this trend by becoming eco-friendly. However, even the large traditional companies are trying to get into the action.
In fact, the global vegan market is predicted to reach $31.4 billion by 2026. Think about the number of people who consider themselves to a vegan diet. Although still a relatively small part of the population, the number of vegans grew by 3 million from 2008 to 2012, according to a Gallup poll. So, what’s leading the cultural shift?
Importance of Taking Part in Vegan Initiatives
Evidence suggests that the shift is coming from younger generations, who are placing personal health, animal welfare, and climate change as the forefront of their consumer habits. In fact, 87% of Generation Z are becoming more conscious about the environment, with 35% wanting to be meat-free, according to Finder. What’s even more impactful though are the people who may not be strictly vegan but would consider themselves flexitarians. Polls show 79% of this generation go meatless at least once or twice a week. This term used to describe the occasional meat-eater is growing in popularity. In fact, reported sales of alternative meat products are growing at an annual rate of 24.5%, according to the Nielsen Total Food View.
This trend has been influenced by a variety of factors. Generation Z wants to understand their food supply and has an interest in how climate impacts lifestyle production as well as the entire supply chain. They realize that supply may eventually be eclipsed by demand due to environmental issues.
Their health and wellness are also playing a factor. A study published in the British Medical Journal recommended a 50% reduction in meat and sugar consumption for the health of the average person as well as the planet. Although this area of the market is growing rapidly, there’s room for innovative start-ups who are willing to take on a plant-based business. There are many ways that start-ups can grow and take advantage of this trend.
Vegan Consulting and Meal Planning
Vegan-based health and consulting are going to be a significant part of the market. Many people or even companies may want to go vegetarian or vegan but may not know how to do this in a sustainable manner. Trained dietitians and health coaches can work with clients and businesses to achieve this goal. By helping clients transition to a vegan or more plant-based lifestyle, they’re offering a valuable service that will take the stress and anxiety out of the process.
Vegan Networking Companies
When going vegan, many people find that they need support when finding grocery stores, meal planning, beauty products, and even clothing. Although they can do the research and find alternatives on their own, a platform that discusses vegan topics and lists vegan companies is a great tool. Although you could also start a company that offers any of these services, a tech-savvy person may want to instead start a business that connects people to the services and products that they need.
Rise of Vegan-Lifestyle Influencers
Social media has played a vital role in promoting awareness and veganism. An analysis by Brandwatch revealed that veganism is the most popular nutrition topic covered by 54% of food influencers. Influencers like Tabitha Brown, Fearne Cotton, Kim Kardashian, and Ariana Grande are all vegan with major followings. As a result, the global community is growing up in an environment where global issues are discussed and engaged through social media.
Vegan Economic Growth
If we consider plant-based milk as an example, it is clear that veganism has not only become a global discussion, but may also replace the use of traditional cow’s milk within the next decade. A report by AT Kearney suggests that 60% of meat will no longer come from animals, but rather cultured meat or plant-based alternatives by 2040. But while food is shaping our markets and even cultural identities, it is clear that this holistic transition will affect every corner of our lifestyle and planet.
When it comes to joining this international trend, the sky’s the limit. There’s no shortage of possibilities in this market. With more people than ever before interested in sustainability, entrepreneurs and start-ups can gain from considering sustainability into their business plan. Having an eco-friendly business can only be beneficial and bring in a larger market.