Vegetarians can’t get no satisfaction - research shows

The number of vegetarians satisfied with the choice of food products available to them has suffered a dramatic decline, according to the findings of new research commissioned by Ingredient Communications.

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The online poll of 1,000 consumers in the USA and UK[1] found that the net satisfaction rate[2] among vegetarians was +8%. This was a significant fall on 2018, when the same survey recorded net satisfaction among vegetarians at +47%.

In the US, net satisfaction among vegetarians has slumped from +38% in 2018 to -10% now, a negative swing of 48%.

In the UK, meanwhile, net satisfaction among vegetarians has suffered a negative swing of 35%, from +55% in 2018 to +20% in the latest survey.

In stark contrast, net satisfaction among vegans has risen from +2% in 2018 to +17% today. Net satisfaction among US vegans now stands at -3%, versus -9% in 2018. Among UK vegans, net satisfaction is +25%, compared with +28% five years earlier.

[1] SurveyGoo, September 2023

[2] Net satisfaction = % dissatisfied subtracted from % satisfied

Plant-based is more appealing to vegans

The survey was conducted in September 2023 by market research experts at SurveyGoo, who also asked respondents about their perceptions of specific plant-based products. The findings offer some possible clues as to why dissatisfaction levels among vegetarians are trending higher.

When asked to rate how appealing they found plant-based meat products, 95% of vegan respondents said they looked tasty, compared with 56% of vegetarians. Meanwhile, 91% of vegans said they found alt-dairy products appealing, compared with 60% of vegetarians.

Richard Clarke, Managing Director of Ingredient Communications, commented: “High levels of dissatisfaction and declining net satisfaction rates among vegetarians indicate a concerning trend that needs further scrutiny. Of particular interest is that fewer vegetarians find plant-based meat and dairy products appealing. This might help to explain why net satisfaction levels are so much lower among these consumers.”

Ingredient Communications

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