The number of Americans who identify as vegan has increased by more than 3,000 percent over the past 15 years.
A new study by Ipsos Retail Performance states 9.7 million people in the U.S. are now turning to a plant-based lifestyle. In 2004, a survey by Time and CNN found there were only 290,000 people interested in plant-based living.
Using Google Search data, Ipsos Retail Performance was able to determine levels of interest in veganism and plant-based diets in the U.S. from 2004 to 2019.
Ipsos compiled the search data results state-by-state to better understand each state’s level of interest.
Those living in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Mississippi consistently registered the lowest levels of search interest around plant-based diets.
States with higher levels of search interest in 2019 include California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and New York.
Vegan Food Market Expands
As interest in plant-based living increases, consumer demand for vegan food products has soared.
Studies show the global vegan food market has skyrocketed to meet the growing demand for plant-based products. A new report published in Research and Markets revealed the global vegan food market could reach $31.4 billion by 2026.
According to market research and consulting firm, Coherent Market Insights, the global vegan meat market alone is on track to reach $6.5 billion by 2026.
Meat Companies Embrace Plant-Based Proteins
A growing number of meat companies are turning to plant-based meat products to meet the growing demand.
Spam producers launched vegan meat counters in U.S. supermarkets this month. Vegan meat brand Happy Little Plants, owned by Spam producer Hormel Foods, now offers its plant-based ground meat at Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets.
Nigerian agribusiness company Chi Farms revealed plans to launch a vegan burger nationwide earlier this month. Last year, meat processing giant Smithfield Foods launched its own range of plant-based protein products.
The world’s largest meat producer, Brazilian company JBS, recently revealed it opened its own lab to manufacture plant-based meats. JBS is now working to expand its portfolio to include five new plant-based meat products.