The Economist’s “The World in 2019” predicts that veganism will be the most popular topic of the new year, declaring 2019 “the year veganism goes mainstream.” On the heels of this declaration, Forbes published an article predicting that 2019 will be the year more people “embrace a plant-based lifestyle.”
According to The Economist, a whopping 25 percent of Americans 25 to 34 years old identify as vegan or vegetarian. And U.S. sales of vegan foods rose 10 times faster from January to June 2018 than food sales as a whole, a spike largely attributable to millennials and Gen Z members, who are increasingly switching to a vegan lifestyle.
Author John Parker writes:
Interest in a way of life in which people eschew not just meat and leather, but all animal products including eggs, wool, and silk is soaring, especially among millennials.
In fact, over the past decade, veganism has seen consistent growth as millennials, the largest generation and the one with the most self-identified vegetarians, purchase their own food. But if you think millennials are vegan AF, you should know that Generation Z is even more into plant-based foods!
And big businesses, including “Big Meat,” see the value of investing in vegan meat alternatives. Tyson, America’s largest meat producer, has invested in vegan company Beyond Meat; major Canadian meat company Maple Leaf Foods has launched an independent subsidiary called Greenleaf Foods that is 100 percent plant-based; and Applegate Farms, a subsidiary of meat giant Hormel Foods, aims to invest in the $3.7 billion plant-based market.
If plant-based meats take off, they could become a transformative technology, improving Westerners’ protein-heavy diets, reducing the environmental hoofprint of animal husbandry, and perhaps even cutting the cost of food in poor countries.
And they are already taking off. A study commissioned by the Plant Based Foods Association found that sales of plant-based meat in the United States had grown by an impressive 24 percent over the previous year.
The retail data collected by Nielsen and the Plant Based Foods Association reveals that plant-based food sales overall, including sales of meat, dairy, and egg alternatives, such as Beyond Meat, nut milks, and dairy-free ice cream, rose 20 percent over the previous year to more than $3.3 billion. The days of the plant-based fringe market are over.
Additionally, the study found that vegan milk sales had risen 9 percent over the previous year to $1.6 billion, creamers had skyrocketed a whopping 131 percent at $109 million, cheeses had gone up 43 percent at $124 million, and yogurts had grown 55 percent to $162 million in sales.
In fact, America’s largest grocer, Kroger, predicts plant-based foods will be one of the top five food trends in 2019, and Whole Foods named vegan meats one of its healthy food trends of 2019. According to Parker, vegan meat replacements will go the farthest in taking veganism from “a minority within a minority” to mainstream.
Parker also points out the school districts that served vegan meals during the 2018–2019 academic year and the American Medical Association, which urged hospitals to serve more plant-based foods. Even government officials will discuss veganism as the European Commission begins to formally define vegan and vegetarian food for legal certainty.
This is all great news for the billions of animals who suffer at factory farms each year. Cows, pigs, chickens, and fish raised and killed for food are subjected to unthinkable cruelties: tiny, filthy cages; horrific mutilations; torturous transport; and violent slaughter.
Fortunately, with the growing demand for plant-based options, this is the perfect time to switch to a compassionate vegan lifestyle.
Join the millions around the world fighting to protect animals by choosing vegan meals. Get your FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide today!