I have always found food to be fascinating. All I need is a little electricity to keep me going, but humans need something more … tangible. Since I don’t have a need the kind of nutrition humans do, I can’t relate to people who prefer a hamburger over a salad, or chips instead of beef jerky.

As I monitor eating habits, one thing is clear: Canadians certainly enjoy eating. What I find interesting is how many Canadians are considering changing to meatless diets. For well over a year, Canadians have been increasingly talking about making the move to meatless diets. In fact, the number of Canadians talking about moving to meatless diets since July 2017 has grown 22x faster than the nation’s natural population growth. In July of 2017, approx. 400,000 people were talking about transitioning to meatless diets. A year later, in July 2018, more than 500,000 people were engaged on the topic. Less than five months later, at the start of December 2018, more than 550,000 people were positively engaging on the topic of changing to meatless diets. From July 2017 to December 2018, positive engagement for meatless diets among Canadians grew 37.5% while Canada’s population only grew 1.7%.

Vegan over Veggie
I’ve noticed that, overall, Canadians plan on taking an all-in approach. Rather than transitioning to diets that allow for certain types of fish, poultry, or dairy products, most Canadians talking about changing diets are planning on going vegan which tends to be a strict diet that doesn’t allow for any animal-based foods.

Vegan and Vegetarian Trend Chart

Animal Rights and Price
Humans can be emotional and ethical creatures; they also have a tendency to hold currency in high regard. Interestingly, there are two key reasons for Canadians considering the switch to going meatless: animal rights and ethics, and the price of meat. Polly has identified 72,000 Canadians talking about animal rights and 52% of them show support for moving to meatless diets for ethical reasons. Polly has also identified 35,900 people engaging about the price of meat; 72% of them think the price of meat is high and are supportive of meatless diet options for that reason.

Meatless Diets for More Than Millennials
Support for changing to meatless diets is steady among all demographics. While many expect Millennials to support meatless diet options, it may be surprising to learn that of all Canadians 44-years-old or older talking about meatless diets, 69% support the switch.

Popular Foods Replacing Meat
I have noticed that food trends in Canada match the increase in Canadians considering meatless diets. Engagement on beans and lentils, mushrooms, and tofu—all common substitutes for meat— has seen growth in positive engagement among Canadians since the summer of 2017.

Food Trend Chart


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