Plant-based and vegan are two terms that both refer to food that doesn’t contain animal products, but a new survey reveals that Americans vastly prefer one to the other.

Food development specialist Mattson surveyed 1,163 U.S. adults, asking them to answer questions with either “100% plant-based” or “vegan.” The results showed that consumers have a very different understanding of the two seemingly interchangeable terms.


When asked where the future lies, 83 percent of respondents answered “100% plant-based” while only 17 percent answered “vegan.” When asked which is healthier between the two, plant-based won once again, with 68 percent to vegan’s 32 percent.

When asked which was more flexible, 79 percent of respondents said “100% plant-based,” while 21 percent said “vegan.” And when asked which tastes better, 73 percent said plant-based while just 27 percent said vegan.


The survey also found that many Americans are flexitarian, with 29 percent of respondents saying that they mostly followed a vegetarian diet but still ate some meat or saying that they were trying to reduce their meat intake.


The meaning of plant-based and vegan diets are interpreted different ways by different people, with veganism being considered more synonymous with animal rights, and plant-based being thought of more in relation to whole foods and cutting out processed foods with animal products.

Here’s a guide to eating a whole foods, plant-based diet on a budget. And here is a guide for transitioning to a vegan diet.


Thinking of Going Plant-Based?

Here are some simple plant-based recipes from the Food Monster App to help any beginner work their way toward mastering vegan cuisine.

Dandelion Green Smoothie

This Dandelion Green Smoothie is simple to make and great for a quick plant-based breakfast!

Mushroom Barley Grillers

These Mushroom Barley Grillers are a great choice for an easy-to-make, quick lunch or dinner. Try them on a bun!

Curried Lentil Soup

This Curried Lentil Soup is perfect for any time of year. Garnish with chopped green onions and vegan sour cream!

Looking for more plant-based cooking tips? Download the Food Monster App, where you can find tons of recipes for meat alternatives and other healthy food. The app is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day.

Lead Image Source: Shutterstock