South Africa is among the top 30 countries in the world where veganism was most popular over the last 12 months, according to a recent study of Google Trends data. Google Trends showed that while veganism is gaining popularity worldwide, South Africa tops the list of African countries showing interest. The Western and Eastern Cape provinces have the highest concentration of vegans, with Stellenbosh, Randburg, and Cape Town showing as the top three most popular cities for veganism. The study analyzed vegan-related searches made in any language, such as “veganism,” “vegan restaurants,” and “vegan recipes.” Google assigns a score for each location that represents the level of interest in a given topic by comparing searches made for that topic to all Google searches made in that particular location. While some of the vegan-related searches could have been made out of curiosity, many types of searches, such as vegan recipes or vegan restaurants, show a strong intent for following a plant-based diet. “People are searching for veganism in South Africa and what we have seen in trends is that it has spiked up,” Mich Atagana, Google South Africa Communication Manager, told media outlet eNCA. “Obviously, veganism has always been of high interest [as a] subject when we look at the past year or the past month in terms of what people search for.” Google data also shows the country moved up the ranks by almost doubling its global popularity score in veganism—which represents a rise in interest in the subject compared to other countries—since 2014.

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