Top 5 Countries with the Largest Vegetarian Populations

April 2018

Insight into consumer diet trends and their market sizes can help businesses to adapt their product offers and build up business strategies. Vegetarianism is rising in developed and emerging economies due to growing health, ethical and environmental awareness. Meanwhile, the number of vegetarians is declining in some markets as a result of rising living standards and shrinking populations. India, Indonesia, Nigeria, China and Pakistan have the world’s largest vegetarian populations in 2017.

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Developing countries dominate the global vegetarian population

However developed economies represent fast-growing vegetarian markets, fuelled by a strong rise in the number of health- and environmentally-conscious consumers.

In emerging markets such as China, Indonesia and India, young, urban, middle- and high-income consumers are major drivers of a new vegetarian diet trend

They represent a niche market for vegetarian food and vegetarian-friendly consumer appliances.

Plant-based diet can be seen as part of the greater healthy and ethical living trends which are shaping many consumers’ choices nowadays

Brands can tap this holistic approach to build brand credibility and increase brand appeal to vegetarian consumers.

Marketing to new vegetarian consumers in both developed and emerging markets

Brands and retailers need to emphasize values such as convenience, health and sustainability.

Top 5 largest vegetarian populations
India: the world’s largest vegetarian population is shrinking
Indonesia: more vegetarians despite a rise in meat consumption
SaladStop ! innovative salad bar concept
Nigeria: vegetarians population grows slower than total population
China: healthy-eating is a new lifestyle for young, urban consumers
Whole Perfect Food: promoting a vegetarian culture
Miele steam ovens for healthy cooking
Pakistan: vegetarian diet is a choice, not only for the poor
Vegetarian consumer dynamics: what businesses need to know


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