The Rise of Veganism

By : Jesse Schechtel 

2/28/20

FOOD

Hey Hi-Tides, so what’s up with all these vegans?! The number of U.S. consumers identifying as ” vegan”  grew from 1% to 6% between 2014 and 2017, a 600% increase, according to Global Data. That's still a pretty small portion of the total, but other data reveals growing interest in plant-based foods by consumers who don't consider themselves vegetarian or vegan. Vegan and flexitarian (combo vegan & vegetarian) diets are more popular due to innovation in the plant-based industry as well as rising awareness of issues around animal agriculture.

The vegan diet is on the rise across the globe. ... But why the sudden shift toward meat-free and plant-based foods? If you asked for vegan food 20, 10, or even five years ago, you’d be met with surprise or even an eye-roll. Vegans were once stereotypically thought of as hippies, pictured sitting around eating nothing but lettuce in flower crowns. Fast forward to 2019, and times has changed. Times have really, really changed. Ask for the vegan menu these days and it’s quite plausible your server will eagerly hand you a card packed with veggie burgers, dairy-free pasta, quinoa bowls, and if you’re lucky, some vegan dessert too. But why the sudden shift toward meat-free and plant-based foods? Has everyone become suddenly radical in their views? The likeliest answer to that is no, but they have become more open to change. To follow a flexitarian lifestyle means to reduce, but not fully eliminate your intake of animal products. Instead of the traditional meat and two veg, nowadays, more people are opting for plant-based foods on weeknights and saving the meaty dishes for the weekend. In Australia and New Zealand, flexitarian lifestyles are continuously rising in popularity, driven by more choice of vegan restaurants than ever before. In the UK, a recent study by supermarket chain Sainsbury’s revealed that 91 percent of Brits now identify as flexitarian. And in the U.S. as mentioned above is continuing to grow. Hi Tides, be healthy and eat your greens!