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4th January 2024  Content supplied by: Ingredient Communications

Vegetarians Can’t Get No Satisfaction, Research Shows

The number of vegetarians satisfied with the choice of food products available to them has suffered a dramatic decline, according to the findings of new research commissioned by Ingredient Communications.

The online poll of 1,000 consumers in the USA and UK[1]  found that the net satisfaction rate[2] among vegetarians was +8%. This was a significant fall on 2018, when the same survey recorded net satisfaction among vegetarians at +47%.

In the US, net satisfaction among vegetarians has slumped from +38% in 2018 to -10% now, a negative swing of 48%.

In the UK, meanwhile, net satisfaction among vegetarians has suffered a negative swing of 35%, from +55% in 2018 to +20% in the latest survey.

In stark contrast, net satisfaction among vegans has risen from +2% in 2018 to +17% today. Net satisfaction among US vegans now stands at -3%, versus -9% in 2018. Among UK vegans, net satisfaction is +25%, compared with +28% five years earlier.

Plant-based is more appealing to vegans
The survey was conducted in September 2023 by market research experts at SurveyGoo, who also asked respondents about their perceptions of specific plant-based products. The findings offer some possible clues as to why dissatisfaction levels among vegetarians are trending higher.

When asked to rate how appealing they found plant-based meat products, 95% of vegan respondents said they looked tasty, compared with 56% of vegetarians. Meanwhile, 91% of vegans said they found alt-dairy products appealing, compared with 60% of vegetarians.

Richard Clarke, Managing Director of Ingredient Communications, commented: “High levels of dissatisfaction and declining net satisfaction rates among vegetarians indicate a concerning trend that needs further scrutiny. Of particular interest is that fewer vegetarians find plant-based meat and dairy products appealing. This might help to explain why net satisfaction levels are so much lower among these consumers.”

He added: “There are many benefits to a vegan lifestyle, and there are lots of great products out there to cater for the needs of vegans. But the question has to be asked: in the rush to go 100% plant-based, have brands and retailers neglected the needs of vegetarians, who are usually happy to eat dairy and egg ingredients? If so, are more hybrid products the answer?

He concluded: “In any case, the findings of our survey reinforce the golden rule of food manufacturing: that it’s essential to use the very best ingredients to deliver an excellent eating experience. The days have long gone when vegans and veggies were simply grateful to have something – anything – they could eat. They want and expect the best.”


  1. SurveyGoo, September 2023
  2. Net satisfaction = % dissatisfied subtracted from % satisfied



Date Published: 4th January 2024

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