January is a time for turning over a new leaf. Whether that means a few half-hearted jogs after too much Christmas cheese, or setting yourself more long term goals for health and well being, many people seem to get a new found sense of obligation and commitment at the start of the year. In particular, there are two major food groups that tend to suffer. One is alcohol. The other, which has become less popular than ever in recent years, is meat.
Traditionally, the New Year’s hangover is often enough to put huge swathes of the population off booze for at least a month. This trend has been apparent for several years. However, new research for 2019 is suggesting that, for the first time ever, the number of people willing to give up alcohol is about to be overtaken by those who fancy ditching anything that’s come from an animal. Bacon, as well as booze, could be firmly in the doghouse.
The research, commissioned and published by savings site VoucherCodes, surveyed around 2,000 people from across the UK and came up with some fascinating insights into how our New Year’s resolutions are influenced by what we eat. They found that, for the first time, Veganuary is just as popular as Dry January, with an estimated 2.66 million Brits set to give up on meat entirely for the month. This certainly adds fuel to the theory that veganism is a growing trend that shows no sign of slowing over the coming 12 months.
Commenting on the findings, Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes, said: “With Brits more environmentally aware than ever before, we’ve seen a real surge in people going vegan – and it’s interesting to see it overtake Dry January among young adults’ New Year’s resolutions. Meanwhile, it’s great that we will be looking to compensate for overindulging in the Christmas festivities by exercising more and eating healthily come 2019.”
Other stats suggest that, however you spin it, health is high on the agenda for people in the New Year. Around 40% of people surveyed said that their number one resolution was to try and eat more healthily, whilst a whopping 44% said that their top priority was getting more exercise. Clearly, a Christmas of overindulgence has a habit of making us all feel extra guilty.
What’s really interesting is how age affects the ambitions of those attempting to make major changes with the start of a new year. VoucherCodes’ work reveals that “1 in 20 (5%) will not consume meat or dairy products in January – making Veganuary as popular as those attempting Dry January (6%).” However, when you look at those aged between 16-24, the trend is even more obvious. There, “...a tenth (are) aiming to go vegan, compared to 7% who are planning to go without alcohol.” The priorities for today’s youth are clearly changing.
You might think that these new revolutions spell doom and gloom for the meat and drink industries. However, despite the rhetoric of everyone taking part, it’s important to note that what people say and what they do are very different things. We’ve all broken too many promises to know that the whole world is going to follow through on their January vows. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see whether 2019 throws up any markedly different trends to what has gone before.