November is World Vegan Month, and to mark the occasion, the UK’s Vegan Society has unveiled two new initiatives: V Nutrition and Vegan on the Go. These initiatives highlight a key recent challenge facing veganism: providing nutritional and convenient products to vegans who are more concerned about health than animal ethics.

V Nutrition

V Nutrition is an app developed by the Vegan Society’s in-house nutritionist that can help vegans ensure they get the full range of required nutrients. The launch of this app shows that the Vegan Society sees concern over adequate nutrition as a barrier to appealing to new potential vegans and also to retaining vegans.

A recent survey by GlobalData suggests that 22% of vegetarians and vegans choose their lifestyle as they believe it is healthy, a number rapidly catching up to the 39% who do so because they think eating animals is cruel.

Yet a recent study commissioned by the Humane Research Council in the US has shown that, of the 84% of vegetarians and vegans who quit the lifestyle before the end of their lifetime, the vast majority were following it because they believed it was healthy.

This suggests veganism has a problem retaining new vegans in an age when people are far more educated about nutrition, particularly the young and health-conscious consumers who are likely to become vegan for health reasons in the first place.

Vegan on the Go

The second initiative, Vegan on the Go, is a campaign to encourage retailers to provide more ready-made, on-the-go lunch options for vegans. In the past, vegans were accustomed to creating much of their food completely from scratch as their dietary needs were not met by mainstream retailers wanting to provide tasty on-the-go options.

However, rising time scarcity among consumers means they want to buy ready-made, on-the-go meals, particularly for breakfast and lunch.

This makes veganism more difficult to prospective young, single followers of the lifestyle, who are often particularly convenience-oriented. The Vegan Society has recognized this and acknowledged it as a challenge to be tackled if veganism is to continue its surge in popularity.

Both V Nutrition and Vegan on the Go highlight how the growth in veganism’s popularity has exposed the practice to a less staunchly vegan, hardline consumer base. This means advocates of the lifestyle have to become more attuned with shifting mainstream consumer trends to ensure the lifestyle continues to appeal.

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