Plant Based News (PBN) recently conducted a poll among its social media followers that suggests most vegans would prefer plant-based foods to be kept away from meat and animal products in supermarkets.

On Meta’s Threads, 72% of the 334 supporters who responded preferred a separate plant-based section in supermarkets, 84.5% of the 937 respondents on X said the same, and so did 76% of the Instagram supporters. Although these polls are not scientific and the samples are small, their consistency across social media platforms and their high percentages suggest they are likely to reflect a true representation of vegans’ opinions.  

Many plant-based options are often still stocked in separate “free-from” sections alongside gluten-free, lactose-free, and other allergen-friendly foods, but there has been a recent tendency of supermarkets to put them alongside animal products, despite what vegans seem to want.

There may also be a shift away from fake meats among vegans and in favour of healthier unprocessed plant-based food that may help to explain the results of this recent poll. This year, Speciality Food magazine listed 17 food and drink trends to watch in 2024, and it predicted that “plant-based” will go back to its roots, and move away from the ultra-processed foods characteristic of fake meats. The magazine says, “In 2023 some products aimed at the vegan/vegetarian market disappeared from shelves, as companies failed to pivot and respond to increasing consumer desire to eat ‘real’ food, that’s as minimally processed as possible. Whole Foods Market says retailers wanting to stay ahead of the game should be stocking food that puts the ‘veggie’ back into vegetarian.” Whole Foods Market, in its 2024 trend predictions, said, “We’re seeing new and emerging protein-forward products with mushrooms, walnuts, tempeh and legumes in place of complex meat alternatives.”

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Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.