The majority of consumers prefer the term 'plant-based' to 'vegan', according to research by food development specialist Mattson.
While some people do not know the difference between the two terms, many of the respondents do view them differently.
According to Mattson President and Chief Innovation Officer Barb Stuckey, many consumers see veganism as associated with animal rights and environmental activism, linking the lifestyle with deprivation. However, they see 'plant-based' as a positive dietary option.
The 2017 US-wide online survey of 1,163 US adults asked respondents to answer multiple choice questions, with the two answer options being '100 percent plant-based' or 'vegan'.
Questions included which is healthier (68 percent said plant-based, 32 percent said vegan), which tastes better (73 percent said plant-based, 27 percent said vegan) and which offers more for me (76 percent said plant-based, 24 percent said vegan).
In addition, respondents were asked where does the future lie (83 percent said plant-based, 17 percent said vegan) and which is more flexible (79 percent said plant-based, 21 percent said vegan).
The information is useful for food producers who are marketing their wares beyond the vegan market.
Barb Stuckey said: "Simply by changing the conversation you can make food taste better.
"'Vegan' is about deprivation, it’s about saying no, no, no."