Since 1990, the Vegan Trademark has helped millions of people worldwide to identify products that are free from animal ingredients. Now in its 31st year of operation, the trademark is also approaching a landmark achievement of 50,000 products registered globally and achieves the greatest score for recognition and trust against leading competitors year on year in Great Britain.
Throughout 2020, despite the many challenges faced as an organisation, The Vegan Society’s Vegan Trademark Team registered an additional 15,206 products to the most robust vegan standards. Working with industry pioneers, including LoveRaw, Wuka and Juni Cosmetics, to help more people try vegan cheeses, vegan chocolate and vegan beauty products. The team also regularly conducts both in-house and collaborative research into different areas that help The Vegan Society’s mission.
In 2020, the society conducted its first ever piece of research that looks at the consumer perception of vegan certification schemes, and how consumers view the Vegan Trademark alongside other labelling programmes.
It conducted research through a partnership with Attest – a global surveying platform with access to millions of people across the world. The audience consisted of 1,000 individuals from Great Britain who were most likely to purchase vegan products; mostly those self-identifying as either vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, or flexitarian.
The results from the 2020 research provided many valuable insights, including the finding that 95% of respondents look for vegan verification on cheese alternatives, meat alternatives, dairy-free chocolate and drink products. A huge win for the Vegan Trademark as the mark was both the most recognised and trusted vegan certification compared to seven leading competitors.
In February 2021, through the same platform and with the same audience demographics, the study found a greater number of respondents are checking for vegan certification in food and drink (94%), cosmetics (88%), and healthcare (87%) products.
It was explained to the audience that there is currently no legal definition to the term ‘vegan’ for product labelling. Therefore, brands are free to self-proclaim that their products are vegan without any auditors’ checks. Following this, 79% of respondents thought it was important for vegan products to be certified by a third-party organisation, rising to 89% for vegans and 85% for vegetarians.
Respondents were then shown eight different vegan certification marks and asked to select those they recognised. As in 2020, the Vegan Trademark came out on top and was the only mark to score a majority percentage from respondents. Overall recognition of the Vegan Trademark also increased compared to 2020. Even when breaking down the data into dietary preferences, the trademark was the most recognised.
Respondents were then shown the same eight different vegan certification marks and asked to select those they trusted. Once again, and as in 2020, the Vegan Trademark came out on top and was the only mark to score a majority percentage from respondents. As in the previous question, when breaking down the data into dietary preferences, the Vegan Trademark came out as the most trusted.