foto infograficoShift toward vegetarianism is skyrocketing in one of the largest meat producing countries in the world

According to a survey undertaken by IBOPE Inteligência in April 2018, 14% of the Brazilian population (nearly 30 million people, more than the population of Australia and New Zealand combined) identify as vegetarian - a 75% growth compared to a 2012 survey. 

The rise in the number of Brazilians excluding meat from their diets is in line with another recent survey conducted in 2017 by Datafolha (a polling institute in Brazil), which showed that most Brazilians (63%) want to reduce their consumption of meat. Perhaps not surprisingly, Brazil is now also home to the most successful Meatless Monday campaign in the world: the Brazilian Vegetarian Society, which implements the campaign, says it reaches nearly 3 million students in public schools, and keeps growing.

The shift in eating habits in a country with a strong cultural tradition of meat consumption has many roots. On the one hand, awareness about the health risks of meat consumption is growing. Accordingly, since 2014 the official Dietary Guidelines for the Brazilian population, from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, highlights the suitability of well-balanced plant-based diets for all demographic groups. On the other hand, the growth in the number of vegetarians is fueled by rising concerns about the many impacts of animal agriculture, including its large environmental footprint as a major driver of deforestation in Brazil, as well as ethical concerns about the poor living conditions imposed upon billions of animals raised as food every year.

IBOPE Inteligência statistics are also echoed in the food market. Plant-based companies in Brazil are estimated to be growing at a rate of 40 percent annually, showing that business opportunities for Brazilian companies and investors in this sector abound. According to Ricardo Laurino, president of the Brazilian Vegetarian Society "vegetarianism in Brazil is rapidly becoming mainstream".

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About the survey

The survey was commissioned by the Brazilian Vegetarian Society. Interviews were carried out by IBOPE Inteligência researchers in 142 Brazilian municipalities (at state capitals, suburbs, and the countryside), located in the five regions of Brazil (North, Midwest, Northeast, South, and Southeast). The sample included individuals aged 16 years and over from both sexes and all income classes. The error is estimated at 2%, with a 95% confidence level.


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