Vegan is not just cool, but is changing lifestyle as more and more Italians are ditching meat in favour of eating more greens.
As people on a vegan diet eat no meat, eggs, honey, milk or any other dairy product, going vegan may sound pretty hard. On the other hand, this lifestyle choice is getting more and more popular: the Eurispes Report for 2017 shows an increase in the number of people who choose to avoid animal products: they tripled since last year and now in Italy they are almost 1.800.000. More specifically, 7,6% of the sample follows a vegetarian or vegan diet; in particular, 4,6% of them are vegetarian, and 3% vegan. It is also interesting that the number of vegetarians decreased in favour of vegans compared to last year. As for the motivation, 31,7% says the decision not to eat meat and dairy products is due to respect for animals; 12% is driven by environmental purposes, while 46,7% is guided by health reasons.
Certainly, we are experiencing a change of heart. But businesses are also recognizing that taking advantage of this change toward healthier eating is a great way to be ahead of the game and get a chunk of a constantly growing market. Even the big “omnivorous chains” such as Burger King, Mc Donald’s, and Old Wild West are now offering vegan or vegetarian options. Or a 100% italian instance can be that of the diary company Granarolo, that now is producing plant-based milk and dairy-free products to take even that market it was losing.
Considering going vegan can also be a crucial way for catering and food businesses to attract a new market and create loyalty. Indeed, the vegan market tends to be very affectionate and nowadays it is simple and cool to share food finds and recipes with friends, making it easier for firms operating in the vegan world to establish a reputation. A good example is Universo Vegano, the most important Vegan Fast Food chain in Italy with 19 stores, a healthy and cruelty-free version of junk food, or VEGANZ, a chain of supermarkets with the slogan “Wir lieben Leben” – we love life – that first conquered our German neighbors, and now just opened in Milan.
And there are many more and ever growing. In fact, thanks to the data collected by the VEGAN OK observatory, we know that there are 353 certified italian companies and 10.000 certified references; this shows how the increase in demand is leading also to an increase on the supply side. So vegans, don’t panic! Italy is the right place for you too!
Got any further suggestion on restaurants and bars mindful of the “vegan issue”? Feel free to share it in the comments section below.