Vegan Product Demand In Australia And New Zealand
Vegan products are becoming more popular as new items hit the market. This is also true in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), where research suggests that anywhere from 20-47% of Australians are flexitarians and 34% of New Zealanders are eating less or no meat. In 2019-2020, sales of vegan foods increased 32% to reach $185 million.
Although there’s been an increase in research regarding vegan diets in ANZ, few studies have considered all elements of a vegan lifestyle including cosmetics, fashion, and other products on the market. After seeing this gap in the research, The Vegan Society and The Christchurch Vegan Society collaborated to explore vegan purchasing habits among veg*ns and flexitarians in ANZ. They also wanted to know what vegan products consumers hope to see more of in the future, and how they feel about third-party vegan labeling schemes.
To gather their data researchers collected online survey responses from 600 Australians and 400 New Zealanders. The survey was restricted to people who identified as flexitarian, vegetarian, or vegan. Most respondents were flexitarian or “partly” vegetarian (75%), while 16% identified as fully vegetarian, and 9% as vegan.
Food And Drinks
42% of respondents reported that they purchase vegan food and drinks at the supermarket “often” or “every time.” This is a higher percentage than any other category of vegan products. Only 4% claimed to “never” purchase vegan products in a grocery store setting. The authors attribute this to the rise in popularity of vegan food items, with more than 250 plant-based meat alternatives on the market in Australia alone.
When it comes to purchasing vegan food or drinks at restaurants, 35% of people reported that they always or often do so while 6% never do. A moderate number of respondents (19%) sometimes choose vegan options at restaurants but wish they could do so more. This discrepancy could be due to a lack of vegan products being offered at certain restaurants — indeed, when asked where they’d like to see more vegan products in the future, 55% of respondents identified restaurants, more than any other category. This was followed closely by the demand for more vegan products in the supermarket (53%).
Cosmetics And Toiletries
Around 40% of respondents reported buying vegan cosmetics or toiletries “every time” or “often,” while 6% reported never buying them. The good news is, research has found that global vegan cosmetics launches have risen by as much as 175% between 2014-2019. Even so, 47.5% of consumers in this survey asked for more vegan options in the cosmetics industry. Additionally, it seems that younger responders between the ages of 13-25 had a particular interest in vegan cosmetics.
As consumers become more aware about animal welfare issues, many brands have moved away from using animal-based materials including fur and feathers. Unfortunately leather, suede, and wool are still widely accepted as common materials for the fashion industry. This seems to be reflected in the results, as 30% of ANZ flexitarians and veg*ns reported always or usually buying vegan fashion products (lower than any other category). Meanwhile, 9% claimed to never purchase vegan fashion products. Looking to the future, around 41% of respondents want more vegan options in fashion. The authors point out that there is a strong desire for more transparency in the fashion industry’s production of goods.
Household Items And Healthcare
Approximately 39% of people reported using vegan healthcare products (such as vitamins) and 37% reported buying vegan household items always or often. Similar to the cosmetics industry, younger generations were more likely to report using vegan products in the household category (particularly Millennials, categorized as respondents between the ages of 26-41). The authors note that the vegan household industry is “up-and-coming” compared to other categories, and around 40% of respondents desire more vegan options for their household needs. Comparatively, 43% of people want to see more vegan healthcare products.
Vegan Labeling Schemes
The survey revealed a resounding interest in having an established third-party verification system that can help consumers identify vegan products in the market. In all industry categories, over half of respondents said it was “very important” that an identification system be used to show which products are vegan. The industries that consumers felt were most in need of such a system were supermarkets (95.5% said third-party verification is “very” or “somewhat” important) and restaurants (94% said third-party verification is “very” or “somewhat” important).
Ultimately, the survey shows that there is a large demand for vegan products in supermarkets and restaurants among ANZ flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans. Other industries are growing in popularity but may need more time to reach the attention of consumers. Although younger generations expressed a desire to see more products in the vegan cosmetics industry, people between the ages of 13-25 expressed the least overall demand for vegan products. Advocates in Australia and New Zealand can use the results of this study to promote the ongoing momentum for vegan products and to encourage more brands to offer vegan alternatives.