Reading Time: < 1 minute More people are beginning to realize that eating vegan is better for the environment Credit: Edgar Castrejon
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Veganism may have an ‘identity problem’, according to new research,

The research, released by Walnut UNLIMITED – which describes itself as a ‘human understanding agency’ – looked at people’s buying habits.

It concluded: “There is a ‘Vegan Gap’ between Brits choosing plant-based diets but not actually classing themselves as vegans.”


Walnut UNLIMITED looked at people’s buying habits. It said 22 percent of Brits would only consider plant-based alternatives if they were labeled vegetarian and not ‘vegan’.

Vegan labels

This theory ties in with study data published in a 2019 article by Forbes titled Why Consumers Prefer Plant-Based Instead Of Vegetarian Or Vegan Labels.

“Research from Technomic showed that 58 percent of consumers would rather buy plant-based foods,” it said. “Only 49 percent would purchase vegetarian, and 43 percent would buy vegan…Consumers seem to have negative connotations for the vegan and vegetarian terms. 

“They may associate the words with restricted, bland diets that are boring. They may also view them as fad diets that are difficult to follow and will leave them hungry at the end of the meal.”

Despite the research, many major brands have brought out dishes labeled as ‘vegan’ Credit: Supplied to Plant Based News

Vegan .vs. plant-based

Speaking about its research on veganism and labels at the time, Clare Aigner, manager of syndicated research at Technomic, said: “Consumers find vegan and vegetarian foods less tasty than plant-based foods. I think vegan and vegetarian have been put into consumers’ minds as taking away from a diet. But maybe, plant-based almost gives you something.

“You’re getting more plants, more nutrients. And along with the interest in protein—that’s consumers’ No. 1 nutrient they look for on menus—plant-based still gives you that protein component as well.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.