Google data shows that interest in vegan eating is on the rise. This is in part thanks to countless celebrities touting the joys and benefits of leaving animals off our plates — have you seen all the coverage of Jared Leto showing off his mad vegan pancake flipping skills? There’s also been widespread mainstream media attention on horrific conditions for animals on factory farms as captured by undercover investigators as well as a renewed national discussion about investing in our health and the health of the planet.
The good news doesn’t stop there. A recent article in The Guardian suggests that in the U.S., animal consumption is “falling out of style.” And then there’s the wild success of new animal-free companies, such as Hampton Creek Foods and Beyond Meat, that are grabbing news headlines, garnering the attention of high-profile investors such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and making their way onto mainstream grocery store shelves. It’s clear we are moving in the right direction.
“Vegan” Google Search Volume, 2012-Present
Source: Google Trends. Color density represents volume relative to period maximum.
Need more proof? For those of you who prefer a more quantitative assessment, let’s turn to one of the most entertaining measures of cultural interest and awareness: Google.
Google’s Trends application displays relative interest in a topic based on peak volume of searches using that term and clearly related terms within a given time frame. We used this data in a blog post last year that proved to be our most popular blog post of the year, and we’ve received several requests for an updated version. So our tech team just pulled Google’s available data on U.S. searches for all things vegan, and the results are as fascinating as they are fun to watch.
There is a steady, clear increase in search volume and nationwide spread for vegan-related terms. Even more encouraging are the annual spikes in searches nationwide around the food-centered holiday season as more and more hosts serve animal-free fare.