Since 1990, the Vegan Trademark has helped millions of people worldwide to identify products that are free from animal ingredients. Now in its 31st year of operation, the trademark is also approaching a landmark achievement of 50,000 products registered globally and achieves the greatest score for recognition and trust against leading competitors year on year in Great Britain.
Throughout 2020, despite the many challenges faced as an organisation, The Vegan Society’s Vegan Trademark Team registered an additional 15,206 products to the most robust vegan standards. Working with both business giants (like ASDA and New Look) and industry pioneers (including LoveRaw, Wuka and Juni Cosmetics) to help more people try vegan and stay vegan, we also regularly conduct both in-house and collaborative research into different areas that help The Vegan Society’s mission.
In 2020, we conducted our first ever piece of research that looks at the consumer perception of vegan certification schemes, and how consumers view the Vegan Trademark alongside other labelling programmes.
We conduct our research through our partnership with Attest – a global surveying platform with access to millions of people across the world.
Our audience consisted of 1,000 individuals from Great Britain who were most likely to purchase vegan products; we considered those self-identifying as either vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, or flexitarian.
The results from the 2020 research provided many valuable insights, including our finding that 95% of respondents look for vegan verification on food and drink products. A huge win for the Vegan Trademark, our mark was both the most recognised and trusted vegan certification compared to seven leading competitors.
We repeated this research in February 2021, through the same platform and with the same audience demographics. Once again, we found great numbers of respondents checking for vegan certification in food and drink (94%), cosmetics (88%), and healthcare (87%) products.
We explained to our audience that there is currently no legal definition to the term ‘vegan’ for product labelling. Therefore, brands are free to self-proclaim that their products are vegan without any auditors’ checks. Following this, 79% of respondents thought it was important for vegan products to be certified by a third-party organisation, rising to 89% for vegans and 85% for vegetarians.
Respondents were then shown eight different vegan certification marks and asked to select those they recognised. As in 2020, the Vegan Trademark came out on top and was the only mark to score a majority percentage from respondents. Overall recognition of the Vegan Trademark also increased compared to 2020. Even when breaking down the data into dietary preferences, the trademark was the most recognised.
Respondents were then shown the same eight different vegan certification marks and asked to select those they trusted. Once again, and as in 2020, the Vegan Trademark came out on top and was the only mark to score a majority percentage from respondents. As in the previous question, when breaking down the data into dietary preferences, the Vegan Trademark came out as the most trusted.
We use consumer research at The Vegan Society to inform our work throughout the organisation, whether that is our campaigns, communications, or business development. As the world around us is rapidly changing, it is more vital than ever to understand attitudes towards veganism and the vegan market. If you are interested in personalised insights from The Vegan Society, check out this post for more information, or contact insights[at]vegansociety[dot]com
By Vegan Society Insight and Commercial Policy Officer, Louisianna Waring