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Which US States Are Going Vegan This January?

Which US States Are Going Vegan This January?

4 minute read time

It’s January. The holidays are over and people across the country can breathe a sigh of relief now that the decorations have been packed away and the house is neat and tidy again. After a long period of celebrations, whether for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas, the start of every new year is often the perfect time for putting new lifestyle changes into action.

When asked in 2022, 22% of Americans said that they wanted to focus on ‘living healthier’ in the new year. There are lots of factors that contribute towards a healthier lifestyle, including reducing stress, increasing exercise and improving your diet.

It’s widely reported that there are lots of potential health benefits when going vegan – especially if you suffer from a food sensitivity. Yet when asked last year, only 2% of Americans described their eating habits as being vegan, which is 4% less than in Britain. 

The amount of vegetarians is higher, though. A survey from March 2022 found that around 10% of Americans over the age of 18 considered themselves vegetarian or vegan. And when we crunched the numbers to learn what the most popular Thanksgiving recipe across the US was last year, it wasn’t turkey that topped the list. Instead, baked brie was the recipe rising in popularity the most.

Though the delicious dairy-based dish won’t be suitable for vegans, other popular recipes such as corn casserole or stuffed butternut squash also soared in popularity, showing the appetite for animal-free diets is growing across the country.

With this in mind, we wanted to know, how does this trend look from state to state?

Which US state is the most likely to go vegan in 2023?

To learn where in the US is the most likely to go vegan this January, we analyzed Google search data for people looking for vegan search terms. Phrases such as ‘plant based diet’, ‘vegan diet’, ‘vegan meal plan’ and ‘vegan food near me’ were used to find out how much the interest is increasing.

We looked at the searches in every state, to see how much search volume had increased over the last 12 months, so we could understand where people in the US are most likely to be considering turning vegan this year.

Overall, American citizens are 4% more likely to become vegan in 2023 than they were in 2022. And yet, when you drill down into each state, the true figures are quite different.

PositionStateInterest in searches year-on-yearTop searched keyword
1Hawaii31%Vegan restaurant
2New York17%Vegan ice cream
3South Carolina15%Vegan places
4New Mexico11%Vegan restaurant
5Delaware9%Vegan restaurant
6South Dakota9%Vegan restaurant
7Maine8%Vegan restaurant
8Washington8%Vegan restaurant
9Montana7%Vegan restaurant
10Arizona7%Vegan restaurant

Hawaii is most likely to go vegan in 2023, as residents of the tropical state are searching for vegan-related terms 31% more than last year. ‘Vegan restaurant’ was the most popular phrase used, so there might be more appetite for switching to plant-based dishes that are cooked by professionals rather than trying it at home.

This was closely followed by New York, where vegan searches rose by 17% – with ‘vegan ice cream’  and ‘vegan food’ topping the list of terms.

Arkansas didn’t make the top 10 list of states most likely to go vegan, coming in at 13th. However, it was the only state where ‘animal rights’ was the most popular keyword out of all that we analyzed, showing that there could be demand for ethical lifestyle changes in the next year.

Although California is typically known for being a global vegan capital, packed with plenty of healthy plant-based restaurants, interest in the diet might have peaked. Searched for vegan-related terms only grew by 3%.

Which US states aren’t ready to try a vegan diet?

PositionStateDecrease in searches year-on-yearTop searched keyword
1Mississippi-20%vegan restaurant
2North Dakota-11%vegan restaurant
3Minnesota-10%vegan restaurant
4Nebraska-9%vegan restaurant
5New Jersey-9%vegan restaurant
6Kansas-8%vegan restaurant
7Oklahoma-7%vegan ice cream
8Idaho-7%vegan restaurant
9Michigan-6%vegan restaurant
10West Virginia-6%vegan restaurant

Known for its fried chicken and chocolatey mud pie, it’s not surprising that people in Mississippi haven’t been as interested in veganism over the last 12 months. Searches for vegan-related terms were also down by 20% compared to the previous year. However, ‘Vegan cake’ was the second most popular keyword, suggesting people may be on the look-out for vegan alternatives to their favorite sweet treats this year.

West Virginia was the 10th least-likely to try a vegan diet this year, with search volumes decreasing by 6% year on year. Of those who were searching, ‘vegan protein shake’ was the second most Googled phrase – perfect anyone starting a new gym membership this year.

Removing key triggers

Kerri Ferraioli, expert nutritionist at YorkTest offered advice for anyone considering making the change in this January:

“There are lots of mixed messages and mystery about vegan diets, so it’s no wonder that people are taking to the internet to do their research about it before choosing to switch up their ways of eating. Of course, as well as adding more vegetables to your plate, many people choose to go vegan for ethical reasons too – celebrities like Alicia Silverstone, Lizzo and Ariana Grande are big ambassadors of this.

“Vegan recipes can also be a popular choice for people who suffer from allergies to common trigger foods like dairy or eggs, even if they don’t go fully plant-based.  Of course, if you think you might be intolerant to any type of food, it’s always best to take a food sensitivity test before making any major adjustments to your diet – and always consult an expert so you can ensure you’re still getting all the vital nutrients you need to stay happy and healthy.”

If you want to take control over your health, try a food sensitivity test today.

Methodology:

YorkTest looked at the number of searches in each state in the United States for 46 vegan and plant-based related keywords. It then compared the year-on-year change in searches for each state, to understand where has the biggest appetite for a plant-based life this January.

Data accurate as of December 2022.

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