According to a recent report done by the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), more and more people are expressing interest in a vegan diet, and it’s largely thanks to social media platforms like Instagram. The report pointed out that young consumers in particular are using social media as a tool to gather and spread information about eating vegan as well as to share plant-based recipes.
As AHDB senior consumer insight analyst Susie Stannard reportedly put it, eating a vegan diet has “become a badge of identity or a tribal marker, much like identifying as other youth tribes such as ‘gym bro’ or ‘craft beer nerd.'”
But unlike some trends advanced by social media, eating plant-based is not likely to be just another passing fad, according to AHDB’s research. In recent years, countless studies have highlighted the myriad environmental, animal welfare, and personal health concerns associated with eating animal products, and many people have started to pay attention. As more and more shoppers have begun to seek healthier, more sustainable plant-based alternatives, the demand for these products has grown, thus leading a growing list of companies to invest in the alternative protein market.
Further, the recent explosion in the popularity of plant-based foods has left the meat and dairy industry desperately searching for ways to stay in the game. As a result, some of the world’s largest meat and dairy processors, including Tyson and Cargill, have actually started making plant-based products and investing in the market! This is a super smart move which will allow these corporations to remain relevant as the plant-based eating movement continues to grow at a rapid speed.
As for other strategies that might help meat and dairy avoid falling completely out of fashion in coming years, Stannard suggested that the industry should invest in lowering its environmental impact, making production methods more ethical and increasing product quality. Many companies are already helping to bring about improvements in these areas by investing in lab-cultured meat, a technology with the power to produce traditional meat without killing animals and having detrimental effects on the environment.
Ultimately, any effort to reduce the impact of our food system on our planet is a great one in our book, and we’re thrilled that so many meat and dairy companies are supporting the plant-based food revolution rather than trying to fight it!
To learn more about how you can help secure a brighter future for everyone on Earth through your dietary choices, check out the #EatForThePlanet book!
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