The number of vegans living in Germany has doubled since 2016 according to a new study conducted by Berlin-based vegan supermarket Veganz. The supermarket surveyed approximately 2,600 participants in seven European countries to learn about their dietary habits. In Germany, Veganz found that 3.2 percent of the population now identifies as vegan. When extrapolated for the current population of 83.1 million people, the figure indicates that 2.6 million Germans are vegan—a number that was at 1.3 million in 2016 according to a study conducted by Skopos.
“Not so long ago, vegans and vegetarians were viewed rather unfavourably for their choice of diet and were often ridiculed. Fortunately, this is now a thing of the past, as people’s perception and consciousness have changed dramatically in recent years,” Veganz said. “Living vegan or vegetarian is no longer a niche phenomenon and is now more than just socially accepted.”
In other countries, Veganz found similar trends, with Denmark, Switzerland, and Austria leading at 2.7, 2.6, and 1.6 percent of the population who identify as vegan, respectively. The study also found that as a group, Europeans who identify as “flexitarian”—or actively reducing the number of animal products they consume—is at 22.9 percent of the population. Veganz also surveyed responders about the vegan products they wished to see more on store shelves and found that 45.5 percent of vegan Europeans want more plant-based cold cuts, while 38.6 percent want to see a greater vegan variety in baked goods.
Veganz—which recently opened a vegan cheese factory in Germany—is using its findings to inform its product offerings.