Wine Industry Insights – How big is this vegan wine trend, anyway?

With Kelowna declaring the first “Vegan Awareness Week” in Canada, and over 2000 plant friendly folks attending the VegFest this past Sunday, there is no doubt that plant-based lifestyles are a huge trend in the Okanagan Valley.

The Okanagan has several vegan restaurants and food trucks – but how big is the vegan market, and what are these consumers like? The global SOLA report from Wine Intelligence ranks vegan wine as a lesser opportunity behind sustainable and organic wines (and even sulphite-free wines;) yet, in the food market, the vegan consumption trend dominates.

According to a 2018 study from Dalhousie University, 2.3% of Canadians are committed vegans, and 3.9% of British Columbians follow an animal-product free diet. The numbers are much bigger with young wine drinkers, however. An astounding 9.2% of adults 35 and under are vegan.

If you are interested in this dominantly Millennial market, realize vegan consumers are devoted and loyal to brands they consider trustworthy, (unlike Millennial markets in general,) but they hold vegan products to high standards. If you want to claim your wine is vegan, you had better be prepared for the level of scrutiny associated with these passionate consumers. Vegan drinkers have higher incomes, higher educations and high expectations.

Currently there is no certification for vegan wine in Canada; however, the “Certified Vegan” and “Vegan Society of Canada” organizations do offer certification processes for food and beverage products. “VegBev” certified vegan beverage products globally. Each requires a verification process.

Want to connect with vegan consumers in a meaningful way?
Contact Terroir Consulting for consumer research access, product development and marketing strategy.