Vegan eating is on the rise. Target just launched its own line of plant-based meats, and Smoothie King is now serving vegan protein shakes in its 700 stores worldwide. These international retailers know it’s good business to offer customers what they want: Delicious, affordable, healthy and convenient vegan options. The demand is not only real, it’s reaching a global tipping point.
- Worldcrunch recently reported that Palitana, India has become the world’s first vegetarian city. It all started with a hunger strike by a Jain monk who aimed to end animal slaughter within their community.
- The Guardian announced that “Spain gets taste for greens as vegans, vegetarians and vegivores flourish.” The article further notes a 94 percent increase in vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the country (353 in 2011; 686 today) and a Vegan Fest drawing 5,000 attendees as proof that times are changing.
- The Daily Express noted an equally impressive rise in vegan eating in the UK in an article aptly titled “Meat is off the menu as more Britons become vegetarian.” According to new research by Mintel, one in eight Brits are vegetarian (about 12 percent). That number increases to 20 percent for people between the ages of 16 and 24. The growing population of vegans and vegetarians has led to a £657 million market for meat-free products in the UK.
- Meanwhile, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that Israelis are “growing hungry for a vegan diet.” About eight percent of the population is vegetarian and five percent is vegan — the highest per capita vegan population in the world. Tel Aviv’s second annual Vegan-Fest attracted more than 10,000 people. One festival organizer said, “the makeup of the community is the biggest change. In the past, maybe they were more spiritual, or people society viewed as a little different. A lot of the new vegans are mainstream — lawyers, teachers. Everyone can be vegan.”
- Home to the world’s first vegan grocery store, Germany now offers compassionate options at the traditionally meat-centric Oktoberfest, too.
- Even Domino’s has gotten the message, serving vegan pizzas in Israel based on customer demand.
Wouldn’t it be great if Subway–the world’s largest restaurant franchise–took a cue from these global trends and offered a vegan sub in its stores worldwide? Ask for it now.