Thursday, 2 November 2017

Vegan and Vegetarian 🥗🥕🍎

iReach Insights Press Release   
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  • 8% of people in Ireland are Vegetarian or Vegan.
  • One in four (26%) Vegetarians choose this lifestyle due to health reasons.
  • Younger adults (44%) are more concerned about how eating meat effects the Environment than adults (10%).
  • 27% of Vegans/Vegetarians admit that they have knowingly strayed from their diet.
  • On Holidays (43%) is the most difficult occasion for vegans and vegetarians to be tempted to stray from their diet.
  • Half (51%) of adults in Ireland think that vegetarians/vegans sometimes make people who eat meat feel guilty.

Yesterday 1st November, was World Vegan Day and this is becoming more popular with an increasing number of celebrities promoting the vegan lifestyle, on social media and even through dedicated section of their personal website - Ellen DeGeneres dedicates an entire section of her website “Going vegan with Ellen”.  Historically there was only the Vegetarian Society in which the section devoted to non-dairy vegetarianism has been developed, but now Veganism is becoming increasingly popular.
In light of this we conducted a survey conducted by iReach Insights, 1,000 adults were asked about being Vegan and Vegetarian. Vegetarianism or Veganism are life-styles that may be adopted for various reasons that space from animal rights, ethical motivations, religious beliefs and health related motivations. In iReach’s latest survey we want to gain an understanding why some people in Ireland have opted for this lifestyle, and also those who haven’t.
The survey questions were included in the Nationally Representative iReach Consumer Decisions Omnibus run between of 24th August and the 31st August and has a 3% Confidence Interval and 95% Confidence Level.

The majority (92%) of adults in Ireland state not to be vegetarian nor vegan, 6% of adults are Vegetarian and 2% are Vegan. When talking to those who follow a Vegan lifestyle, we asked “How long have you been vegan?” 67% have been Vegan for less than a year, 18% have been for 1-3 years, 7% for 4-10 years and 8% over 10 years. In relation to Vegetarians and it showed a lower “conversion ratio” in the last year; in fact 11% became vegetarian less than a year ago, 28% 1-3 years, 13% 4-10 years and 48% over 10 years ago. Although there are less Vegans (2%) in Ireland this lifestyle is becoming more popular year on year. Going deeper an interesting difference has emerged amongst men and women, more men (77%) went Vegan than women (47%) in the last twelve months, but the percentage of women (23%) that went vegan for 4 years or more is higher than men (12%). Similar scenario, in the last 3 years more men (61%) went Vegetarian than women (30%), but more women (70%) than men (40%) went “veggie” for 4 years or more. Females adopted these lifestyles earlier than males. 

What reasons have led to people choosing this lifestyle? 61% of adults in Ireland indicate “Animal Rights/Welfare” as the main cause. 30% select “Environmental Reasons”, 30% “Don’t like meat” and lastly 26% “Health Reasons”. Of those have pointed out “Environmental Reasons” 44% is represented by adults aged 16-34 and 10% by adults aged 35-54; these figures show that younger adults are more concerned about the environmental effects that eating meat has. 

The decision to follow a specific lifestyle, particularly in diet, means we have to pay a lot of attention to the quality of what we eat. Despite their caution, 40% of vegan/vegetarian adults in Ireland have accidentally eaten non-vegetarian / vegan food at least once, 15% admit they don’t know and 45% state that this has never happened to their knowledge. When asked “Do you knowingly ‘cheat’ on your vegetarian / vegan diet?” 27% have admitted that they have! Now the question is: on what occasions is more difficult not to be tempted? “On Holidays” (43%) is at the top of the list, At home with relatives or friends (34%) and at the Restaurants (20%). In terms of who is more tempted during holidays the figures show that more women (45%) than men (39%) are straying from their vegan / vegetarian diet.  

What do people in Ireland think about this topic? In fact, half (51%) of adults think that vegetarians/vegans sometimes make people who eat meat feel guilty about it, 27% disagree with this statement and 22% are neutral. In addition, 21% of people think the idea of being vegetarian/vegan is ridiculous, 34% are neutral and 45% don’t think this is ridiculous. The Irish public opinion is quite fragmented about the choice of being vegan or vegetarian which emerged through further questions. In fact, 36% of adults think Veganism is more about being trendy than being healthy, 35% is neutral and 29% believe it is more about a healthier lifestyle choice. 

Would vegans/vegetarians’ behaviours effect on make our world a better and cleaner place? One in four (25%) think the world would be a better and cleaner place if more people were vegetarian/vegan.  Even if the public opinion is not so convinced about the positive effects of being vegan/vegetarian on our society, 59% of adults believe that always more and more people will decide to live two lifestyles, a number that is constantly increasing over time. 

For more information on these research findings please feel free to call iReach on 01-2143740 or email Oisin at

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