Market & Trends

Study Finds Non-Vegans in Switzerland Regularly Consume Plant-Based Products

The current issue of MACH Consumer, the largest continuous consumer media study in Switzerland, determining the needs, inclinations and habits of Swiss consumers, assesses the consumption of plant-based products in the alternative meat, milk, yogurt/quark and cheese categories.

The figures reveal that 21% of the Swiss population consumes a product from one or more of these categories at least once a week. Notably, the majority of those who purchase and consume products in these categories are those who eat animal meat regularly (42%) or occasionally (42%), whereas just 16% in this consumption group were vegetarians or vegans.

The data shows that 5% of the Swiss population currently follows a vegetarian or vegan diet, with 70% of this group consisting of females. Somewhat predictably, a meat-free diet in Switzerland is especially popular among 14-29 year olds and those who live in cities. The MACH Values psychographic study concluded that individuals most likely to live a meat-free lifestyle fall into two categories, “the politically committed, unconventional “cosmopolitans” and the creative, environmentally friendly “creators”.”

Lidl Switzerland
LIDL Switzerland

Plant-based in Switzerland: slowly but surely

“Switzerland is a very stable, rather conservative country. Changes usually take a little more time here than in other countries. But once they are implemented, the new situation is also very stable again. That’s why patience is needed,” explains Renato Pichler, president and CEO of Swissveg. Even so, positive changes are taking place in the country slowly but surely.

A recent study by Coop in Switzerland found that vegan burgers have seen strong growth of 252%, that sales of vegan meat alternatives increased by more than 350% over the past three years, and that every seventh milk in the shopping basket at Coop is a vegan alternative.

Large retailers in Switzerland have been proactive in listing plant alternatives for some years, with Migros leading the way, adding products from artisan cheesemaker Les Nouveaux Affineurs; Better Nature‘s tempeh, and alternative seafood products from Aqua Cultured, to name a few. And just last month, Mcdonald’s expanded the Beyond Meat McPlant burger in Europe, choosing Swiss and Slovenian cities for the launch.

The recent presentation of the new climate strategy for agriculture and nutrition in Switzerland highlighted the importance of plant-based nutrition for sustainable and climate-friendly agriculture. It will be interesting to see how veganism and the plant-based market progresses over the coming years in light of this strategy.

More information on the study at wemf.ch/universum

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