Nearly Half of Meat-Free Canadians are Millennials

New research shows that Canadians 35 years old and younger are three times more likely to identify as vegan or vegetarian, while the largest meatless population in Canada resides in British Columbia.

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A new survey conducted by Dalhousie University in Halifax revealed that 40 percent of Canadians who identify as vegan or vegetarian are under the age of 35. Researcher Sylvain Charlebois collected data from 1,049 Canadian residents of all ages to find that 7.1 percent identify as vegetarian, while 2.3 percent identify as vegan. Charlebois uncovered a particular concentration of meatless residents in British Columbia (BC), where 8.6 percent identify as vegetarian and 3.9 percent as vegan. When Charlebois examined residents in the 35 years and younger demographic, 28 percent identified as vegetarian and 9.2 percent identified as vegan, making young BC residents three times more likely to adopt a meat-free diet than residents who are 49 years of age or older. “Those are really, really high numbers,” Charlebois said. “Even though we believe the overall rates have not gone up, they could go up over the next couple of decades as a result of seeing such a high number of young consumers committing to speciality diets. That will actually impact food demand over the next few decades, and I suspect the food industry will need to adapt.” A number of vegan businesses have expanded across Canada’s west coast to serve the growing vegan population, including vegan pizza shop Virtuous Pie, which opened its second Vancouver, BC location earlier this month.