A recent US study by Morning Consult on consumer trends covered these three topics: 1) online versus in store shopping habits 2) purchasing considerations and 3) product labelling.
In this last section on product labelling, respondents were asked to indicate whether respective terms made food more or less appealing to them. The terms included free range, glutenfree, fresh, natural flavours and another dozen or so terms.
A vegan labelled product
Stats with respect to the term vegan:
- Overall, 17% said the term vegan made the product more appealing to buy.
- 35% said the term vegan made the product neither less nor more appealing.
- Another 35% said it made the product less appealing.
- And 12% said they didn’t know, or had no opinion.
So that means that over half of respondents (52%) find a vegan labelled product more appealing or neither less or more appealing (combined).
‘Fresh’ was found to be the most appealing term to label a product with, while ‘vegan’ was overall the least. 81% of respondents say that a food or beverage product would be more appealing to them if it has ‘fresh’ on the label. At the other end of the scale is the term ‘vegan’, with 17% who say that that makes a product more appealing. But that percentage raises to 29% among 18 to 21 year olds (so nearly a third of youngsters find a product with the label vegan on it, more appealing to buy).
The study was conducted among a US sample of 2201 adults. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Some considerations that come to mind:
- This is a US based study. A similar study in other countries could lead to different results. Results can also vary across region, or inhabitants of city versus countryside (among other things of course).
- Despite being at the bottom of the chart (compared to terms like ‘fresh’, ‘farm fresh’, ‘sourced from American farmers’, ‘organic’, etc that all score higher than ‘vegan’), I find the results for the term ‘vegan’ quite promising. Using the term vegan on products is quite a new practice (compared to many of the other terms having been used for decades before), so in a relative short timeframe, the term ‘vegan’ has acquired its place. Even more promising is the high score among youngsters. So it’s a pity that media coverage of this study predominantly highlights the bottom score of the term vegan, which could feed a self-fulfilling prophecy with respect to it being perceived as a more extreem and negative term.
- In that respect, it would be interesting to see where this leads to in a couple of years, to compare over a period of time and set the result on a timeline.
In sum: just say the word #vegan! The more it is used, the more it can and will become a positive ‘household name’. And the label ‘vegan’ can climb up those charts.