According to data collected from a survey conducted by Eurispes (The Institute of the Italian Research), contained in the Italy 2016 Report, vegetarians and vegans in Italy are increasing.
If in the previous years the number of vegetarians in Italy had decreased (from 6,5% in 2014 to 5.7% in 2015), in 2016, however, it increased by slightly less than two percentage points soaking a percentage of 7.1%. Also the percentage of vegans, who represent a minority of the population, had registered the same kind of trend: even if last year had witnessed a decrease (from 0.6% in 2014 to 0.2% in 2015), in 2016 instead they reached 1% of the population. Adding the number of Italians who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, a significant percentage of 8% of the population can be reached. In light of this new data Italy, along with Germany, has become one of the most EU vegetarian countries.
The adhesion reasons at the base of such types of to food diets are well illustrated by the responses obtained during the survey: it emerged that 46.7% of them is encouraged by reasons that have to do with health and well-being, 30 % is instead moved by sensitivity towards animals, while 12% attributed its decision to reasons related to environmental protection.
Another interesting fact emerges from a Nielsen research: since 2010, the meat consumption steadily declines by 5% per year, while there has been an exponential increase of the classic products proposed by the “vegetarian” menu, such as, for instance, the increase by 17% in 2015 related to the sales of soy, rice or almond milk and the double-digit growth ratio of prepared vegetable soups (38%).