Brighton dethroned Portland, Oregon, the former vegan capital of the world, to take the top spot. Portland is known worldwide for its thriving vegan scene and is considered the best vegan city in the US.
Brighton is the new vegan capital of the world, according to latest research.
This is the first time a city other than Bristol, or Portland in the US, has taken the top spot.
International food magazine Chef’s Pencil analyzed Google Trends and Google Adwords to assess what proportion of a city’s overall searches are vegan related in order to calculate its popularity in that area.
Brighton fought off tough international contenders and vegan hotspots such as Seattle in the United States and Berlin in Germany to ace the scoreboard.
However, Brighton is not new to earning vegan accolades. It has been branded an incredibly vegan-friendly city several times in the past due to its very high number of vegan-friendly restaurants per capita.
Meanwhile, Portland, Oregon – considered the best vegan city in the US for its thriving vegan scene – secured a popularity score of 77 to come in second place.
Bristol came in 3rd while Germany’s Hamburg and Berlin took the 4th and 5th spots worldwide.
The new list comes as experts are seeing a spike in the flexitarian movement – one which predominantly features plant-based products with occasional meat consumption.
In fact, according to the Google sourced data, the flexitarian interest has surpassed veganism popularity since the beginning of 2022.
“As flexitarianism becomes more mainstream, it’s no longer only vegans and vegetarians who are recognising that every meal is an opportunity to eat more sustainably,” Carlotte Lucas, corporate engagement manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, said.
Google Trends – an estimation at best
It is important to note that Google Trends does not provide an all-round popularity measurement. By its own admission, one of the caveats of Google Trends is that it shows the relative popularity for a search term or topic in Google.
This means that there have been instances where a topic attracts more interest over time but is crossed out by other world events or trendier topics.
In such cases, Google Trends reports a lower search popularity score, despite an increase in absolute number of searches for a given topic.
Moreover, Google Trends is not a scientific poll and shouldn’t be confused with polling data.
Despite the apparent drop in growth, a Good Food Institute report released earlier this year highlighted that sales of plant-based foods have actually outperformed total foods sales.
Even Veganuary – the 31-day pledge to go vegan – recorded its highest numbers in 2022.
Apart from more than 629,000 people, who pledged to go vegan for January, the movement motivated mammoth corporations to partake too.
More than 100 organizations – including Harrods, Papa John’s, Domino’s, Volkswagen Group UK, and Adept Care Homes – signed up for the 2022 Veganuary Workplace Challenge through which not only did the leadership get involved, but it also encouraged employees to eat plant-based too.
According to Veganuary’s numbers, at least 1,561 new vegan products and menu options were launched during January to propel the movement even further.
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