Veganism and Social Media
There’s no denying that veganism is becoming more mainstream. The no-meat, no-dairy regime is now a lifestyle choice for more than 79 million people worldwide, according to thevou.com
Many celebrities and influencers promote their healthy lifestyles on social media and that has made vegan-based content much more accessible. The increased number of platforms for sharing has opened new channels for people to post about their vegan experiences. The hashtag “#vegan” has had more than 122,529,036 posts listed on Instagram alone – and that is as of May 2022.
How is veganism promoted on social media?
Our analysis on social media such as YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, online websites, and blogs suggests that veganism is promoted in three ways.
The first one is through peer-driven veganism, i.e., where you see many of your friends, celebrities, influencers, posting vegan food content on social media. Here, they often also post content on how to make the food and give quick cooking demonstrations. The focus is about making the food tasty!
The second is by focusing on the health aspect of veganism. Here, people talk about diets, how to combat existing health conditions, and how to stay healthy, etc. The focus is on making the food healthy!
The final one is through social media content featuring the negative impact of meat based diets on the environment and accounts of animal cruelty and mistreatment in production. Examples would include how milk is forcefully taken from cows, unethical slaughterhouses, etc.
Whilst we recognize these three trends on social media, we have further found that there is a difference between how veganism is promoted between Instagram and TikTok.
Vegan trends on Instagram –
Searches for Vegan Diet attracted more than 7.5 million views, Vegan Junk Food garnered nearly nine million views – and Vegan Desserts brought in a staggering 29 million views only on Instagram, as of May 2022.
We saw that on Instagram, veganism is promoted in three ways. The first trend seen across was many posts focused on the health and diet of an individual. Although the vegan movement is mainly driven by health and environment conscious advocates, not all social conversations around the topic are positive. A lot of people are skeptical about the benefits and impact of the diet, and advocate against it. Overall, either people agree to this diet, or they don’t, and therefore there are a lot of online conversations around the topic.
Second is using the visual appeal of plant-based food photos. Here the pictures are often very colorful and bright. It is also seen that in many pictures, the pictures have been altered to look brighter, and more colourful.
Third, we see veganism promoted through hashtags! The more the person puts a hashtag, the more viewers they generate for their posts!
It is safe to say Instagram has a heavy influence on how veganism is promoted across social media.
Vegan trends on Tiktok –
On TikTok, the plant-based diet has been dubbed one of the top “trending” diets.
The videos labeled with #plantbaseddiet cover a range of themes, but most feature simple tutorials and recipes on how to cook tasty plant-based dishes. Additionally, we also find reels where vegan TikTok influencers talk about why they decided to go vegan.
These reels feature healthy salads, smoothies, and sandwich recipes, as well as some naughtier ‘junk’ plant-based delicacies like vegan breakfast burgers, burritos, and chocolate-chip cookies.
Other reels demonstrate some simple brand changes you may make to your shopping list to become more plant-based (for example, Violife, Just Egg, and Sweet Loren’s in the United States).
There are also reels under the hashtag showing TikTok users discussing their reasons for eating a plant-based diet, as well as ‘how to’ videos for pressing tofu and cooking with egg alternatives.
Many vegan influencers have propelled into the mainstream due to TikTok, but the most notable and trending one is “That Vegan Teacher”.
Where does veganism head in the future?
According to the vegan bites, “millennials are driving the trend toward plant-based meals.” When buying food, younger people are more concerned about animal welfare, the environment, and supply chains.
Any movement that is popular among young people, unsurprisingly, will be actively promoted on social media. So, if vegans are more likely to be young, we’ll see more vegans on social media.
This is a clear indication what matters to young people matters. And what matters on social media can be used by brands for marketing campaigns. So, any trend that favours this demographic needs to be taken seriously.
And veganism is one such shift!
This type of change might be too fast and dramatic to keep up with, and all the new information coming up every day can be overwhelming. Therefore, we, ADK Insights, constantly keep track of these trends, and provide you with essential insights to prepare you for the future and pave the way for your strategy, across different social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.
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To find out more of our experiences and knowledge in the food industry, contact Nimrod, Rob or Dam at ADK Insights. Or follow us on our LinkedIn Page.