Vegan Burgers

Vegan burgers by Karaidel from Photos Pro via Canva Pro

Interest in veganism at an all-time high in South Africa

South Africa ranks among the world’s 25 nations where veganism is most popular.

Vegan Burgers

Vegan burgers by Karaidel from Photos Pro via Canva Pro

“The unstoppable rise of veganism: how a fringe movement went mainstream” headlined the Guardian in early 2018.

The popularity of veganism has exploded worldwide over the past few years, fueled by ever-increasing concerns about a healthier diet, animal welfare, climate change, but also by social media.

Even the respectable British magazine, the Economist declared 2019 the Year of the Vegan.

Veganism in South Africa

Veganism is incredibly popular in the United Kingdom and Australia, but its popularity has exploded in South Africa as well. According to a study compiled by food blog Chef’s Pencil, South Africa ranks among the world’s 25 nations where veganism is most popular.

Vegan Healthy Rainbow Salad
Vegan Healthy Rainbow Salad – Image by ninafirsova via Canva Pro

Moreover, according to Google Trends, these days the interest level for veganism in South Africa is at its highest level ever.

It is high in Africa, but South Africa is the only country on the continent where Google shows a sizeable interest in veganism.

So sizeable, that South Africa also shows a higher interest in veganism than countries like France, Italy or Brazil.

The study was based on Google Trends data, a reliable source of Big Data, which lets you compare veganism popularity across the world.

Google looks at vegan-related searches made in any language such as “vegan recipes”, “vegan restaurants”, or “vegane rezepte” and assigns a score based on the number of searches for a given topic compared to all searches made in Google for that particular location.

For example, if Google assigns a score of 70 to veganism searched in New Zealand and 30 to South Africa, it means that the percentage of Kiwis who searched for veganism is higher than that of South Africans. It does not mean that, in absolute terms, there were more people searching for vegan-related terms in New Zealand than in South Africa.

While some of the searches comprised in the veganism category will have been done out of curiosity, many of them, such as vegan recipes, show a very high intent to adopt a vegan lifestyle.

Acai smoothie bowl, superfood vegan breakfast
Acai smoothie bowl, superfood vegan breakfast – Image by Arx0nt Photos Pro via Canva Pro

Most Popular South African Provinces and Cities for Vegans

The Western Cape is the province where veganism is by far the most popular in South Africa, hugely outranking the Eastern Cape and Gauteng. At the city level it is Stellenbosh, followed by Randburg and Cape Town where the percentage of vegan-related searches was the highest.

The top 10 South African cities where veganism was most popular over the past 12 months:

  1. Stellenbosch (100 points)
  2. Randburg (79 points)
  3. Cape Town (76 points)
  4. Sandton (63 points)
  5. Port Elizabeth (54 points)
  6. Roodepoort (43 points)
  7. Kempton Park (39 points)
  8. Centurion (38 points)
  9. Midrand (37 points)
  10. Johannesburg (35 points)