Gen-Z? More like Gen-V(egan)
There is so much good news for the plant-based movement. Veganism has grown 360% in the UK over the past 10 years. Each day that passes, this pattern is looking less like a trend and more of a truth: veganism is here to stay. The rise of the conscious consumer has seen a spike in interest in healthy foods and companies that do business the right way. Reporters have also spoken loudly: removing meat and dairy from our diet is the single greatest thing we can do to reduce our environmental impact.
All the positive news gave us a desire to take matters into our hands and run a survey. At the core of our quest, two questions: what constitutes cool these days? How do diet and health rank amongst our priorities? We surveyed 2000 people and have discovered something that we think is absolutely brilliant: changing attitudes towards what constitutes cool and a shuffling in priorities amongst young adults have given rise to a new consumer - Generation V(egan).
In modern times, young adults between the ages of 18-25 have always embodied what the future might look like. Today this demographic is represented by Generation Z. Amongst those we surveyed, 44% of Gen Z say being plant-based is cooler than smoking - an impressive shift in attitude compared to baby boomers and even millennials. This finding is coupled with the stat that one in three Gen-zers would turn plant-based because it looks impressive to others. Almost a quarter of Gen-z have tried going plant-based in the past year and 35% are attracted to the idea of a plant-based partner.
While older generations are dipping their toes into plant-based recipes and a vegan lifestyle, they remain hesitant compared to members of Gen-z. By contrast, members of Gen-z have identified health and fitness as two of their top motivators and are embracing many positive changes to meet their needs, with veganism representing a major shift.
What does this mean for the future? While we cannot know for sure, a few promising predictions can be made. The first is a sharp decline in the number of smokers. With the “cool factor” dropping and research identifying smoking as the number one preventable cause of cancer, it seems fair to say that we can expect many members of Gen-z to drop or never pick up the habit. Initiatives like #StopTober are capitalizing on this positive trend and making a real difference in people’s lives. The second assumption we can draw is that the UK’s second most dangerous cause of cancer - obesity - could also start seeing a reduction in numbers. As Gen-z set health and wellness as their priorities, food and fitness gain unprecedented importance. We can only be hopeful that this will result in improved national health trends.
Needless to say, there is a new role model in town. It’s time we listen to the ‘kids’.
Study carried out by Vyper, 2000 respondents, September 2018