More than 1m adopted vegan diet in the UK over past 12 months

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

New research estimates that there are now 2.5m people following a vegan diet in the UK. Credit: Getty / Yagi Studio
New research estimates that there are now 2.5m people following a vegan diet in the UK. Credit: Getty / Yagi Studio

Related tags plant-based

The number of vegans in the UK increased by 1.1m between 2023 and 2024, a new study has found.

Research conducted by Finder estimates that in the past 12 months the number of UK vegans increased by 1.1m to a total of 2.5m, representing 4.7% of the adult population.

Meanwhile, a further 3.1m people identify as vegetarians and 3m as pescatarians. This amounts to 8.6m people that follow a meat-free diet or 16% of the adult population.

The research also found that 6.4m people plan to adopt a meat-free diet in 2024, while more than half of generation Z could be eating a meat-free diet by 2025.

Commenting on the findings, Vegan Society spokesperson Maisie Stedman told Food Manufacture that the range of plant-based options available in supermarkets and restaurant has made turning vegan “easy and accessible​”.

The number of vegans in Britain has soared in recent years and veganism is no longer an unusual lifestyle​,” Stedman continued.

The reasons behind the rise of veganism are numerous: the increasingly positive portrayal in the media and the popularity of campaigns such as Veganuary and World Vegan Month have contributed to its changing image; documentaries on the shocking realities of animal agriculture have gained prominence; peaceful activists are educating the public about veganism on the streets and in schools; supermarkets and restaurants launch convenient, tasty vegan food options; delicious vegan recipes have multiplied online and on social media as society becomes increasingly health-conscious; and top vegan athletes keep proving that you can be fit and healthy on a plant based diet.”

Marisa Heath, chief executive of the Plant-Based Food Alliance UK, added: “People are learning more about how their food is produced and questioning the environment and animal welfare impact of it so it is not surprising that the vegan statistics have risen. They may not necessarily choose to go for meat analogues but we also know meat consumption is going down and this is good news for the environmental agenda.

“Whilst there has been a slowdown in the sales of some plant-based products we know a lot of younger people are going vegan and are more used to plant-based alternatives so we are confident that plant-based diets are going to continue to grow.”

In other news, Heather Mills revives VBites after purchasing assets for £1m from administrators.

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