How The Vegan Society uses consumer insights to build a more sustainable world
November 1, 2021
4 min read
The Vegan Trademark appears on more than 56,000 products worldwide - learn how connecting with consumers is helping The Vegan Society to grow.
As the link between intensive farming and climate change becomes clearer, attitudes to consuming animal products are changing. Staying abreast of these changes in consumer sentiment is essential for an organisation like The Vegan Society, which exists to promote vegan lifestyles.
One way The Vegan Society does this is through carrying out regular consumer research with Attest. Their research not only helps inform their overall strategy but also provides them with inspiration for marketing and PR initiatives.
Thanks to Attest’s ability to provide answers in minutes, The Vegan Society can be very agile and respond quickly to what’s happening in the news agenda. An example of this is when they ran a survey to look at eating habits during the pandemic. They found that 1 in 5 Brits had cut down on meat consumption during lockdown and 15% had reduced their dairy/egg intake.
Digging beneath the topline stats, they found that the change in people’s diets wasn’t only due to their preferred products not being available on the supermarket shelves – 43% chose to reduce their meat consumption out of concern for health, environmental or animal rights reasons.
What’s more, the change in behaviour was leading more shoppers to try vegan alternatives for the first time (for example, 42% sampled almond milk and 38% tried plant-based meat), providing encouraging news for F&B brands that bear the society’s Vegan Trademark.
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They found that a massive 95% of shoppers would like to see more vegan-verified fashion options, with almost half (48%) saying they want to see it across all fashion categories. Even more compelling was that 74% said they’d be willing to pay more for the non-animal-based alternatives.
This type of insight is invaluable for Vegan Trademark holders, who are responsible for more than 5,400 vegan-verified fashion products. This number has more than doubled since the start of 2021, highlighting the growing sustainable fashion movement. Already signed up are various high street and luxury brands such as New Look, Forever New, Kurt Geiger and George at ASDA. Additionally, the insight report gained over ten media write-ups and four broadcast interviews for the Society.
Steering consumers to The Future Normal
Beyond helping their business members to make a difference, The Vegan Society also works at a grassroots level encouraging individual consumers to change their behaviour. Off the back of consumer research signalling growing empathy among Brits for animals, they decided to launch Future Normal Day (9 April).
Future Normal Day asks people to consider creating a kinder future for animals by going vegan, reflecting the fact that 48% of the public feel it’s hypocritical to love some animals and eat others, and 40% feel guilty for eating meat.
The campaign includes an awards event for those in the community who have gone above and beyond for animals, as well as a hashtag #FutureNormalDay, which people can use to tag pictures of their rehomed, rescued or adopted animals on social media.
Louisianna Waring, Senior Insight and Policy Officer at The Vegan Society says the consumer insights they’ve obtained through Attest have been instrumental in helping the organisation to scale.
“As The Vegan Society goes through a period of rapid growth it is becoming even more important to get quick and effective consumer research when we need it. The Attest team have always listened attentively to my thoughts, and continue to develop a platform which is instrumental to my work. Not only does Attest help us to make decisions quicker, but it also reduces stress as it decreases ‘the unknown’.”
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Bel has a background in newspaper and magazine journalism but loves to geek-out with Attest consumer data to write in-depth reports. Inherently nosy, she's endlessly excited to pose questions to Attest's audience of 100m global consumers. She also likes cake.