While many local consumer trends are affected and led by global trends, some develop quite differently. Veganism is one such trend: globally, veganism is considered a healthier diet that is more suitable to our bodies. However, in Israel the main driver of veganism is not the health aspect but rather compassion towards animals and protest against the meat and poultry industry.
As a result, veganism has also different impacts on the local food industry. Vegans driven by health aspects are more likely to veer away from packaged food altogether, preferring unprocessed and home-made foods. Yet in Israel, consumers expect food companies to adjust their offering and develop more vegan packaged food.
Therefore, encouraged by the nonprofit Vegan Friendly which promotes the vegan lifestyle, there is a growing variety of foods carrying the Vegan Friendly label. Many foods are vegan anyway, without having to change any ingredients, but the label makes it easier for vegans to shop. In addition, they will often prefer labelled products as they ensure that
the production process is free of cruelty towards animals.
Many restaurants also address this trend by offering vegan menus or dishes alongside their regular menus, and these are also popular among non-vegans who seek to decrease their meat consumption. This is also a significant shift: many consumers feel that the meat and poultry industry is cruel towards animals but it is difficult for them to commit to a vegan lifestyle. Therefore, they often choose to decrease their meat and poultry consumption rather than foregoing it entirely.
Veganism is gradually becoming m
ore common and affects more markets as well. For example, we are witnessing a rise in demand for vegan shoes and bags, although this is still a niche. From an eccentricity associated mostly with hippies, it has become a recognized and appreciated way of life that many consumers strive towards even when they cannot follow it fully themselves.