Is Israel Going To Be The First Vegan Country?

If you’ve been following vegan world news over the last couple of years, you’ve probably already heard of at least a few Israeli vegan projects, and perhaps of the predictions that Israel may become the world’s first vegan nation.

But these predictions have started coming to life as a new Israeli survey has revealed that approx. 1 million out of Israel’s population of 8 million, no longer eats meat, and another whopping 13% are now considering going either vegetarian or vegan.

In the survey, 5% of the people surveyed answered that they are now vegan, another 8% define themselves as vegetarian, and no less than 40% answered that they have a friend or relative that transitioned into veganism or vegetarianism over the past year.

A growing vegan movement with a financial power that shows

These statistics are consistent with previous reports, indicating Israel’s growing vegan movement. Last month one of Israel’s leading financial magazines revealed that the Israeli dairy industry hit another low with a drop in sales of 4%- 7% in various categories of dairy products (to which the Israeli government responded by further subsidizing dairy products). But the financial effects have been seen not only within the Israeli dairy industry. A recent article in the Israeli financial magazine The Marker, showed that Israeli consumers are massively moving towards healthier foods, which include an inclination to veganism, and that these consumers are changing the market as they go.

The Marker’s article, which was published this past September, featured some of the biggest names in Israel’s food market and restaurant chains, testifying in regard to the increase in demand for vegan foods. The marketing manager of one of Israel’s biggest restaurant chains, Cafe Greg, was quoted as saying that in the last year and a half they have seen a rise of 30%-40% in demand for vegan dishes in their restaurants, which was the reason they decided to add an entirely new vegan menu in addition to the regular menu throughout their chain. Today the new menu includes no less than 24 vegan dishes (the first menu included 11), which will hit their branches over the coming months.

Café Greg is not alone in meeting the increasing demand for vegan dining options. Domino’s Pizza created waves around the world this past December as they added a vegan pizza option to their Israeli menu.