Online Searches for Vegetarian Food Delivery Upsurge During Lockdown, Study

Short Description
As many parts of the world have been in lockdown, an increasing number of vegetarians around the globe have been ordering vegetarian food from outside.
  • Nusra Deputy Features Editor
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Globally there has been a sharp uptick in searches for services that deliver vegan food to people’s homes, shared a research by SEMrush that has captured granular data about global eating habits during the lockdown.

Globally, searches for keywords like “vegan delivery”, “vegetarian delivery”, “order vegan food”, and “order vegetarian food” increased by 128%, 233%, 51%, and 27% respectively from January to May 2020.

The SEMrush study suggests that while India remains the undisputed motherland of vegetarians, globally, vegetarian food is growing increasingly popular as well.

“During the lockdown there was a surge in online searches for services that have vegetarian food delivered to peoples’ homes; we believe that this is a strong indication that, globally, people are less concerned about contracting Covid-19 from outside food. Our study shows that the popularity of plant-based meat is falling globally. This may be because consumers overseas don’t see plant meat as a real substitute for meat,” shared Fernando Angulo, Head of Communications SEMrush.

The study indicates that there are a significant number of people globally committed to vegetarianism. As many parts of the world have been in lockdown, an increasing number of vegetarians around the globe have been ordering vegetarian food from outside. The study suggests that searches for vegan/vegetarian deliveries have slightly decreased" in India.  

The SEMrush study also captured a hugely relevant trend. It found that, globally, the popularity of plant-based meats, which are vegetarian products that closely match meat in taste and texture, has fallen dramatically from January to May. Global results show that searches for brands like “Beyond Meat”, “Impossible Burger”, “Gardein”, “Simple Truth”, “Incredible Burger”, “Raised and Rooted”, “Happy Little Plants”, and “Nestle Awesome Burger” fell by 45%, 63%, 18%, 18%, 33%, 46%, 46%, and 56% respectively between January to May 2020.

Many prefer not to substitute real meat with artificial meat. Yet as this trend was spotted during an unprecedented time, it may not indicate that plant-based meat brands don't have a product people want. Rather the trend may simply be an anomaly that is a reflection of an unprecedentedly unique time.

“While our study shows that there has been a fall in searches for brands that sell plant-based meat, the fact that this drop happened during a period when much of the world is in lockdown may indicate that it is a temporary trend. Globally, consumers may wish not to buy plant-based meat because they have full access to vegetarian food. Also ironically, they may have decided that for the time being, until normalcy resumes, real meat is a suitable substitute for plant-based meat,” he added.

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