Nearly a third of British shoppers aged 18-24 either follow or are considering following a vegan diet, says a new survey.
According to the poll, by research and training charity IGD, this stat reflects the growing interest in plant-based diets.
In addition, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of young people in this age group say they either follow or are following a vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian diet. This number drops to 52 percent when taking into account responses from all age groups.
Respondents' motivation depends on their age, with shoppers overall opting to reduce their meat consumption for health reasons (45 percent), 41 percent citing ethical reasons, and 30 percent motivated by the environment.
Younger consumers aged 18-24 are more likely than the average shopper to be motivated by ethical reasons (51 percent), and environmental concerns (48 percent) and less motivated to lose weight/look good (25 percent).
"We are seeing an increasing number of people adopting a more flexible approach to their diets, whether it's just for one meal or one day a week, shoppers are increasingly choosing a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diet," Vanessa Henry, Shopper Insight Manager at IGD, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
"This is for a variety of reasons; the aspiration to be healthier, to adopt more ethical credentials and also to limit the impact on the environment. Some shoppers also claim it helps them reduce their overall food bill.
"This suggests plant-based products being launched on the market now won’t just be confined to the two percent of shoppers who identify more regularly with veganism. They will appeal to a much broader group of shoppers."
Henry added that the data showed that younger shoppers are more likely to follow or consider a plant-based diet, which she described as 'no surprise' as they are the most socially engaged group.
"With the rise in celebrities and health influencers sharing recipes and tips online, as well as the growing popularity of movements such as Veganuary and meat-free Mondays, the interest from this group suggests the trend could continue to grow as plant-based products become more mainstream," she added.