Every year we do surveys to see how our participants found their Veganuary experience and how many of them plan to stay vegan. But we do not have a way of measuring the wider impact of our campaign beyond those who officially sign up with us and answer our completion surveys. So in July 2019 we commissioned Kantar, Britain’s biggest consumer panel survey, to answer this question: What impact does our initiative have on actual animal lives saved?
As a start, Kantar did a full panel survey (to about 30K British households) asking who took part in Veganuary and who didn’t eat animal products in January, to then extrapolate that figure to the full UK population. They came to the conclusion that 1.31 million people gave up animal products in Britain during January 2019 – that’s 4.7% of the total GB adult population and ten times the number of UK sign ups through the Veganuary website during the same time. This confirms what we have long suspected – the number of people who sign our online pledge are just a fraction of the people actually trying vegan in January.
Based on the responses of everyone interviewed, Kantar estimated that 832,000 people gave up animal products for the first time in January 2019, with 366,000 identifying themselves as doing it as part of Veganuary.
Kantar then did a second survey and recontacted all engaged panellists (those who said they gave up animal products for the first time in January 2019) for whom they hold at least 2 years of continuous purchase records. These panellists have been reporting their actual shopping to Kantar directly for at least two years which allows us to contrast 2019 vs 2018 purchasing. The comparison only included items where an animal product was the primary/sole ingredient e.g. chicken breasts or nuggets, beef burgers or mince. It did not include items where the animal product was one of several ingredients such as ready meals, soups, sandwiches, pies and pasties etc. The comparison also excluded any food eaten outside of the home.
Using this data Kantar calculated the total reduction in volume of animal products purchased for the 832,000 people who gave up animal products for the first time in January 2019 was 1,050,369 kg over one month. We have calculated that this equates to approximately 1 million animals in Britain alone*.
Kantar then looked at data from January to June 2019 for the same group to see if there was a sustained reduction in consumption – and there was! Using this data Kantar calculated that for 832,000 people the reduction over the six-month period was 4,452,603kg. Our calculations show that this equates to approximately 3.6 million animals*, again just in Britain. When you add on our international reach the number is much higher!
We knew that the ‘Veganuary Effect’ was real and that many more people tried vegan in January than officially signed-up with us, but seeing the long-term impact that a one-month vegan pledge has on consumption habits – and ultimately animals’ lives – is very exciting.
Our aim is to get people to try vegan for one month and see how they feel. Our own surveys show about 50% choose to stay vegan as it was much easier and enjoyable than they expected, but we always hoped the other half discovered some products and recipes they loved so much they permanently swapped these for the non-vegan equivalent. Now we know that’s exactly what’s happening, and it’s great news for animals and the planet.