To mark the end of Veganuary 2022 – an initiative that encourages people to try veganism in the month of January – we dive into YouGov Profiles data to understand the make-up and attitudes of vegans in Britain and the US. According to our data, vegans make up 6% of the adult population in Britain, whereas only 2% of Americans describe their eating habits as being vegan.
YouGov Profiles captures information on a variety of data points across dozens of markets, which allows for an insight into the demographic and psychographic composition of various audience segments. In this piece we focus on the attitudes and qualities, ranging from perceptions of health to their personal finances, that set vegans apart from average Brits and Americans.
Vegans tend to be more health conscious
In both the US and Britain, those who say they follow a vegan diet are noticeably likelier than the average population to place an emphasis on being physically active.
Three-quarters of American vegans (75%) agree with the statement “it’s important for me to stay physically active in my spare time” compared with three out of five average Americans (58%). In Britain, two-thirds of vegans agree with that statement (65%) compared to just over a half of all Brits (54%).
Vegans in each market are also likelier to think of themselves as healthy eaters. Four out of five vegans in the US and two-thirds of them in Britain agree with the statement “I consider myself to be a healthy eater”.
Vegans in both markets are likelier to let environmental considerations influence their purchase decisions
Alongside health-related considerations, environmental concern is one of the main factors that draws people to veganism. It is no surprise then that vegans in both markets are far likelier to think of themselves as being environmentalists.
In Britain, half of all vegans (53%) say “I consider myself an environmentalist” (vs 36% of the overall population). Three-quarters of American vegans (75%) think of themselves as environmentalists compared to just 44% of all adults in the market.
These environmental concerns might influence purchase decisions too. Four in five vegans in the US (80%) say that they “try to buy only from companies who are socially and environmentally responsible” and that sentiment is echoed by three in five British vegans (60%).
The contrasting economics of vegans in the US and Britain
Vegans in the US are more likely to be members of upper income households when compared to the average American. One in seven American vegans (14%) belongs to higher income households (defined as households that draw a gross income higher than 200% of the median) compared to 8% of all Americans.
By contrast, it is the lower income group where British vegans are over-represented (32% vs 27% of the overall population). Additionally, about a fifth of British vegans (21%) say they are finding It difficult on their present income (vs 15% nationally).
Those marketing vegan food products in Britain must note that more than a tenth of consumers (12%) say that “wanting to eat more cheaply” could encourage them to adopt a vegan diet.
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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.