(Bethesda, MD – Apr. 5, 2023) A new survey polled 3,000 Gen Z individuals to gain new perspectives on the future of the food and health industry. According to the poll, the Gen Z population (those born between 1997-2012) is currently the main driver of the vegan market, with 70% who identify as vegan saying they will continue to pursue the diet in the next five years.
Health benefits, concern for animals and environment are primary motivation
The survey found about 50% of vegans chose the lifestyle because of its perceived health benefits, with 17% motivated by animal cruelty concerns, and another 17% choosing the diet for environmental reasons. About 60% of vegans say they also educate those around them about the benefits of veganism to inspire others to adopt the lifestyle.
“Gen Zers are leading the way when it comes to adopting plant-based diets,” said Jane DeMarines, Executive Director of Sustainable Earth Eating, a nonprofit that promotes awareness of the impact of diets on the environment and encourages transitioning to plant-based foods through educational activities, events, and cooking classes. “This generation of young adults are especially concerned about climate change and veganism is one of the most effective ways individuals can reduce their carbon footprint. Their activism carries over to what they put on their plate.”
The survey was conducted by health website Medical Inspiration Daily For Stronger Society, which surveyed 3,000 vegans and non-vegans belonging to the Gen Z age demographic in February 2023.
Seventy percent of current vegans said they have no plans to quit. However, 51% report the biggest barrier to starting the diet was understanding the health benefits, while 37% of vegans report having cravings for non-vegan food. Among non-vegans, 80% said they had no desire to go vegan in the next five years, with more than half saying meat cravings presented the biggest obstacle. In addition, 73% of non-vegans report not being familiar with the term.
“While veganism is no longer seen as a fad, there is a huge opportunity for greater education on the myriad benefits of a plant-based lifestyle as well as the environmental consequences of meat-heavy diets,” continued DeMarines.