Insights: Did more people go vegan during the pandemic?

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According to research carried out by Two Shoes Creative, a design consultancy supporting ethical and sustainable businesses based in North Hertfordshire, interest in the vegan lifestyle is at an all time high following the pandemic. People are considering what they consume and the impact that creates on the planet more than ever. This in turn has triggered a demand for vegan, sustainable and ethical products and services with many businesses starting up or adapting their offering as a result.

With consumer insight at the heart of the work that Two Shoes Creative do, they have focused their recent efforts on understanding current attitudes towards plant-based living. 

Using Google Trends data from 01/03/2020 to 25/11/2020, they found that UK searches for ‘vegan food’ increased by 104% between March and September 2020. 

Incredibly, searches for ‘vegan food near me’ went up by 239% during the same time period.

The search term ‘vegan’ became more popular after the start of the pandemic and remained high with the largest number of searches carried out by people living in Brighton, Hove, Bristol, Norwich and Cardiff.

It’s not only vegan food that is in demand; data showed that searches for vegan shoes increased by 177% in August, coinciding with the back to school period, compared with the level of demand at the start of the pandemic.

Add to these figures the findings from EON that nearly half the British public and almost three quarters of companies are considering how eco-friendly they are and it’s clear to see there has been a shift in attitudes.

Furthermore, nearly half of people (48%) felt lockdown made them re-evaluate sustainability and just over a third (37%) intend to be more sustainable as they adjust to the ‘new normal’1

In relation to local business, more than two in five people (43%) say they‘ll continue to shop locally and support businesses in their area. Businesses themselves also plan to echo these changes, with a quarter (25%) hoping to localise supply chains in the next six-12 months2 , indicating that this mindset shift is evident within the businesses sector too.

As well as co-owning Two Shoes Creative with her business partner Emily Jones, Suellen Morris also runs Gourmet Alternative, an online vegan cheese shop and deli and is also founder of the Sustainable Life Market, Bedford’s first sustainable market, so is in the unique position to be involved in the trends as they are happening.

‘Consumer insights are integral part of work we deliver for our clients. It’s encouraging to see that the purchase of plant-based products is on the increase and that this is in tandem with the increase in purchases from smaller independent brands.

Evidently recent events have made people question what they are consuming, and what they can do to contribute to a healthier environment and a better future. According to a survey by Edie; 63% of people surveyed vowed to switch to ecofriendly products, and 47% will live more sustainably after lockdown. We think this is incredibly encouraging news for independent eco-conscious businesses.’ commented Suellen, co-founder of Two Shoes Creative.

1. Research conducted on behalf of E.ON by 3GEM in June 2020 with 2,000 UK adults.

2. Research conducted on behalf of E.ON by 3GEM in June 2020 with 500 UK business decision makers.

For press enquiries, please contact

Emily Jones – Two Shoes Creative

Two Shoes Creative are a branding web design agency. They are all about helping ethical businesses and charities evolve and expand.

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