As more of us are predicted to go vegan than ever before in 2021, at Holland & Barrett, we’ve gone behind the scenes to delve into the latest UK trends, habits, and lifestyle changes of vegans over the last 12 months.
We’ve studied search queries, summed up sales data and spoken to over 2000 Brits to find out how they have changed their eating habits, mind-set and overall lifestyle choices.
Our Google Trends data shows Edinburgh and Bristol as the top vegan capitals followed by Manchester and London. Interest in Vegan food peaks during December and January and is growing year on year as more people consider switching.
Digging a little deeper into the topic of vegan food, all the top searches are looking for speedy ways to get vegan food to our door, as well as scouring YouTube for the best new vegan recipes. In terms of baking, chocolate and carrot cakes are the most popular vegan cake recipes.
The data suggests non-vegans are more than a little curious about the vegan lifestyle. ‘How do vegans get protein’ was an extremely popular search in January 2020, which points to gym-goers looking for a vegan alternative.
More specifically, there are rising topics that show some searchers are very interested in a few recent vegan trends. “What is in a vegan sausage roll?” and “what is vegan cheese made of?” both topped the list of vegan curiosities.
When asked about the barriers to adopting a vegan lifestyle, lack of choice (23%) was identified as the biggest thing that puts people off switching
Emily advises: No longer just a sea of tofu, there are hundreds of meat alternatives that vegans can enjoy trialling. From jackfruit to tempeh to seitan, you’ll find that many of your favourite recipes can be substituted by clever hacks like these. So, whether you want to get creative in the kitchen with vegan pizzas or try switching to vegan chocolate, we can assure you there’s plenty of choice out there.
More than one third of vegans (34%) worry they are not getting enough protein from their current diet
Emily says: In the UK, the recommended daily intake of protein is 0.75g per every kilogram you weigh.2 That means that if you weigh 60kg, you should be aiming for around 45g of protein per day.
Getting that much protein when you don’t eat dairy, meat or eggs can be tricky – but it’s not impossible. There are numerous nutritious, high protein vegan foods that you can incorporate into your diet to help make sure you are taking on enough protein.
While nearly one third of vegans believe there’s not enough calcium from their current diet (31%), 43% believe they are not getting enough iron while a quarter (25%) think they’re not getting enough Vitamin C
Emily says: If you’re already a vegetarian or flexitarian, there may be one question stopping you going vegan: will I get enough vitamins and minerals?
It’s a valid concern: some nutrients – such as vitamin B12 and omega-3 – are naturally more plentiful in meat, fish or dairy.1
The good news is that a balanced vegan diet can give you all the vitamins and minerals you need.2 You just need to know which ones are a little trickier to get hold of. Find out more here
More than 1 in 10 non-vegans (11%) worry that they wouldn’t be able to achieve their ideal body whilst adopting a vegan lifestyle, with 17% wondering if they’d feel physically weaker
Emily says: Animal products are notoriously higher in calories. 100 grams of beef contains about 250 calories while 100 grams of butter contains an incredible 717 calories.
For those who want to shift the pounds without starving themselves, a vegan diet can be a great way of going about this.
In terms of strength, while it’s true that we need protein to repair and rebuild muscle, it doesn’t need to come from meat; a balanced vegan diet should provide all the nutrients you need. Make sure you’re eating plenty of plant proteins such as tofu, beans, pulses, legumes such as chickpeas, quinoa, nuts and seeds.
|City||Vegan food: (1/1/19 - 12/17/20)|
|Wythenshawe (South Manchester)||69|
|Halesowen (West Midlands)||60|
|My own health||41.2%|
|Ethical reasons e.g., Treatment of animals||32.2%|
|I don't like the taste of meat and/or dairy products||13.4%|
|Peer-pressure from friends||7.2%|
|Inspired by a documentary e.g., Cowspiracy, What the Health||15.0%|
On behalf of Holland & Barrett, Pegasus commissioned 3Gem to carry out a survey of 2000 UK adults aged 18+. Half of the sample said they were currently following a vegan diet and half of the sample said they were currently following a non-vegan diet. The research was conducted in December 2020.
Holland & Barrett has analysed Google Trends data for the first 12 months of 2020. Google Trends popularity scores are relative and not absolute. Please see Google’s definition of popularity scores:
Values are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the location with the most popularity as a fraction of total searches in that location, a value of 50 indicates a location which is half as popular. A value of 0 indicates a location where there was not enough data for this term.