The Economist recently released its annual “The World in 2019” magazine that predicts the themes that will be most popular in the coming year. In the report, correspondent John Parker explains that 2019 will be “the year of the vegan,” citing that 25 percent of the United States population in the 25- to 34-year-old demographic now identify as vegan, meat companies such as Tyson hold equity in vegan brands, a growing number of schools and hospitals are now required to offer vegan meals, and chains such as McDonald’s and TGI Fridays have introduced plant-based options. “Interest in a way of life in which people eschew not just meat and leather, but all animal products including eggs, wool, and silk is soaring, especially among millennials,” Parker writes. Parker predicted that vegan meat replacements will have the greatest impact in taking veganism from “a minority within a minority” to “mainstream” in 2019, highlighting the popularity of Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burgers and Dutch brand Vivera’s vegan steaks—which sold 40,000 units within the first week of launching at Tesco this year. “If plant-based meats take off, they could become a transformative technology, improving Westerners’ protein-heavy diets, reducing the environmental hoofprint of animal husbandry, and perhaps even cutting the cost of food in poor countries,” Parker concluded.

Photo courtesy of Nick Lowndes/Economist

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