Imaner Consultants

Whats in it for vegans

The fifth survey of the Vegan Research Panel took place during May 2002. 2088 panel members were sent an email inviting them to complete an online survey comprising 12 questions. 58% of the panel completed the survey within an 18 day period.

Reading the small print
UK vegans are twice as likely to refer to food labelling information as the population as a whole (1) and almost all (97%) refer to food labels. Awareness of the Vegan Society trademark is high in the UK, with most vegans (94%) having bought a trademarked product.

1. 68% of UK vegans always refer to labelling in comparison to 33% of the UK population (Consumer Attitudes To Food Standards Final Report, Food Standards Agency, Jan 2001).
Note: 60% of UK vegans find understanding food labels easy and 25% find it difficult. These figures exactly match the figures for the UK population as a whole (Consumer Attitudes To Food Standards Final Report, Food Standards Agency, Jan 2001).

Vegans say no to GMO
UK vegans have a much stronger opinion on GM foods than the general population. Almost all UK vegans (95%) would rather not eat genetically modified food compared with 2 out of 3 of the general population. Furthermore, the vast majority (96%) believe that the labelling of food products containing GM ingredients should be made compulsory. This compares with three quarters (76%) of the UK population as a whole. (2)

2. 48% of UK vegans would never eat GM food, compared with 18% of the general population. 40% of the UK population do not mind whether or not they eat GM food compared to just 5% of UK vegans (MORI poll for Greenpeace UK on GM food, May 2002).

Veggie shopping
The main outlet where vegans buy their fresh fruit and vegetables varies by country. In the UK, vegans are less likely to shop in supermarkets than non-vegans (3). In the USA, almost half of all vegans (45%) buy from wholefood or healthfood shops.

3. The survey found that 70% of UK vegans buy the majority of their fruit and vegetables from supermarkets, whereas 95% of UK household food shopping is done in supermarkets (Consumer Attitudes to Food Standards Wave 2, Food Standards Agency, Feb 2002).

Eating out
Vegans are much more likely to eat out in a vegetarian restaurant than their non-vegan counterparts, with one third (34%) of UK vegans eating out at a vegetarian or vegan restaurant at least once a month. This compares to one fifth of vegetarians and just 3 in 100 of the UK population as a whole. (4)

4. Around 3% of adults in England and Wales eat out once month at a vegetarian restaurant (MORI poll to mark Pub Food Week, Jun 1997).

Switching on
Internet usage amongst online vegans continues to increase with three quarters (75%, rising to 88% in the USA) logging on at least once a day (5). Eight out of ten online vegans have purchased online in the last 6 months - up 12% on Survey 1 in June 2000.

5. Comparable figures from Survey 1 were 66% in the UK and 78% in the USA.

The figures below are based on the 1203 panel responses unless otherwise stated. Figures in parenthesis are based on the 483 UK vegan responses.

Never 0% (0%)
Rarely 1% (0%)
Occasionally 4% (3%)
Usually 31% (29%)
Always 64% (68%)
Very easy 7% (7%)
Fairly easy 49% (53%)
Neither easy or difficult 19% (15%)
Fairly difficult 23% (23%)
Very difficult 2% (2%)
Yes, I am very concerned 40% (42%)
Yes, I am fairly concerned 34% (36%)
Yes, I am slightly concerned 22% (18%)
No 3% (3%)
Don't know 1% (1%)
Yes 69% (94%)
No 10% (1%)
Don't know 21% (5%)
I would never eat GM food 42% (48%)
I would prefer not to eat GM food 51% (47%)
I don't mind whether or not I eat GM food 7% (5%)
I would prefer to eat GM food 0% (0%)
I would always eat GM food 0% (0%)
It should be compulsory to identify all products with GM ingredients 95% (96%)
It should only be compulsory to identify products with GM ingredients above a certain level 3% (2%)
It should not be compulsory to identify products with GM ingredients at all 1% (1%)
Don't know 1% (1%)
Supermarket 64% (70%)
Greengrocer 10% (12%)
Wholefood or healthfood shop 14% (6%)
Market 7% (6%)
Farm shop 2% (2%)
Online shop 0% (0%)
Other outlet 2% (4%)
Home grown 1% (0%)
Once a year or less 30% (27%)
Once every six months 15% (15%)
Once a quarter 19% (24%)
Once a month 18% (18%)
Two or three times a month 11% (9%)
Every week or more 7% (7%)
Information, including travel and product guides 17% (18%)
Footwear, including more styles, lower cost and wider availability 29% (30%)
Shops, larger range of vegan products, and home delivery 26% (30%)
Clothing, more attractive and less expensive vegan options 11% (8%)
Food, just generally more vegan food products available online 17% (14%)
Yes 24% (41%)
No 76% (59%)
Several times a day 53% (48%)
Once a day 22% (22%)
Several times a week 20% (23%)
Once a week 2% (4%)
Several times a month 2% (2%)
Once a month or less 1% (1%)
Yes 80% (84%)
No 20% (16%)