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The vegans are coming: Why the end of meat could be closer than we think

The numbers tell a story of sustained category growth in most western markets. The UK for example is slated to see vegan foods grow 48% between 2015 and 2020. But the real story is behind the scenes – the explosion of Vegan venture capital.

DANIEL EB: ‘First, the numbers. The British Vegan society cites a 360% rise in self-identified vegans over the last decade. More recent polling suggests that number could be as high as 3.5 million. Up to 6% of US consumers self-identify as vegan and 40% of German’s follow a low-meat diet… the Germans! Perhaps the best indicator, Google search trend data for ‘vegan’ shows a 5-fold increase in the last decade, with New Zealand behind only Australia in relative increase. The world of vegan and plant-based media can be generalised as a mash-up of activist culture, mega-influencers and celebrity endorsement, all with increasingly mainstream traction. The vegan culture current is powered by an explosion of popular vegan Instagram stars and a long list of vegan celebrities… In late 2018, Titanic director James Cameron will release The Game Changers, a film that charts vegan transformation through the stories of elite athletes. The effect of activist cinema should not be minimised, just ask SeaWorld.

When thinking about the future of food, our eyes should be firmly fixed on the millennials and Generation Z. In New Zealand, 13% of 14-34 year olds self-describe as vegetarian, up 50% between 2011 and 2015 (against a population-wide increase of 27%). We also need to accept that the term ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ only accounts for the tip of the spear. The rise of the flexitarian diet and the marked decrease in red meat consumption in NZ are case in point… Enabling this rising consumer trend are a new generation of plant-based commercial interests. The numbers tell a story of sustained category growth in most western markets. The UK for example is slated to see vegan foods grow 48% between 2015 and 2020. But the real story is behind the scenes – the explosion of Vegan venture capital… Whatever angle you look at this movement, the writing is on the wall. Veganism is not just here to stay, it’s destined to grow’. SOURCE…

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