“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.
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.
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
The top 10 South African cities where veganism was most popular over the past 12 months:
- Stellenbosch (100 points)
- Randburg (79 points)
- Cape Town (76 points)
- Sandton (63 points)
- Port Elizabeth (54 points)
- Roodepoort (43 points)
- Kempton Park (39 points)
- Centurion (38 points)
- Midrand (37 points)
- Johannesburg (35 points)