In the last 3 years there has been a change in eating habits which shows a very different consumer attitude compared to the past towards foods of animal and vegetable origin.
In Italy, the most recent research is clear: vegans and vegetarians in our country make up over 8% of the population. The two categories are divided as follows: 5.4% of the interviewees declare themselves vegetarian, while the remaining 1.3% say they are vegan.
What drives Italians to embrace these diets? Let’s find out together by analyzing the data reported by some market surveys.

Vegans in Italy: Generation Z and the change

In Italy, the vegan choice is widely spread among the very young: 4.8% of consumers aged between 18 and 25, with a slight prevalence (1.7%) among men. An interesting fact concerns the desire to spread the vegan food choice among relatives and friends. In fact, 62% of those who profess to be vegan try to convince their closest acquaintances and loved ones to embrace this choice. Therefore, vegetarian and vegan content is also growing on social media, where the presence of food bloggers who share vegan and healthy recipes in their online community has become a viral phenomenon. Research also shows that in Italy the vegan choice is viewed with particular admiration by “non-vegans” who consider it either a personal and respectable choice or consider it admirable for the effects it has in protecting animals and the environment.

Vegetarians in Italy: data in decline since 2014

In the year 2022, many people have abandoned the consumption of meat categorically calling themselves vegetarians. Market data shows that vegetarians in Italy reached 5.4% of the population in the past year. Being vegetarian is a choice that in our country, starting form 2014, has undergone considerable variations. In fact, the maximum peak was reached in 2016 when 7% of the population claims to be vegetarian, a percentage which decreased to reach 5.4% in 2022. The statistics have the merit of providing a general picture and despite the vegetarians in Italy represent a minority, it should not be overlooked that many people consume mainly vegetable foods without declaring themselves “vegetarians”. Those who have become aware of the benefits deriving from a vegetarian diet for the environment, animals and their own health benefit from an ever-increasing offer of dedicated products form companies in the sects, thus preferring this lifestyle for themselves and in some cases for their own family.

The sensitivity of Italians for alternative food styles to traditional habits is growing due to ethical and environmental factors. For you, what will be the growing food trend in the near future? Vegan or vegetarian?