VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP

For Immediate Release January 2, 2006
Contacts: Jeannie McStay (410) 366-8343
John Cunningham (410) 366-VEGE

HOW MANY YOUTH ARE VEGETARIAN?


Vegetarian foods seem to be everywhere. Supermarkets are now carrying soy milk, most restaurants have vegetarian options, and even fast food chains are offering or testing veggie burgers.

According to The Vegetarian Resource Group, the market for a company producing a meatless product is much broader than the number of vegetarians or vegans in the country. For example, some colleges have said more than 20 percent of their students are eating vegetarian foods, though some customers may have both a vegetarian selection and a meat item on their plates.

In a 2004 nationwide survey by Aramark, nearly a quarter of college students said finding vegan meals on campus was important to them. The popularity of meatless foods has certainly created many opportunities for businesses, and made life easier for vegetarians.

However, The Vegetarian Resource Group wanted to know how many young people are actually vegetarian. In a national poll, VRG asked: Please tell us which of the following foods, if any, you never eat: Meat. Poultry. Fish/Seafood. Dairy Products. Eggs. Honey.

Because foods are named and the word “never” is used, the number will be different than other polls that ask if you are a vegetarian and are more dependent on personal definitions.

In this 2005 poll, 3% of 8 -18 year olds were vegetarian (that is, never eat meat, poultry, and fish/seafood.) A whopping 11% of 13-15 year old females said they never eat meat. According to VRG, this can be an important reason why so many companies are delving into the meatless meals category. Even if these teens don’t stay completely vegetarian throughout life, they and their families are likely to form a sizable audience for appealing vegetarian foods.

View past vegetarian polls.

The 2005 survey results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, so the figure should /not/ be taken as exact and can’t be truly compared with other surveys because of wording differences. However, this number generally agrees with other VRG teen and adult polls.

Methodology: Harris Interactive® conducted the online survey on behalf of The Vegetarian Resource Group between April 14 and 18, 2005, among a
nationwide sample of 1,264 youth aged 8- to 18-years old of whom 650 were male and 614 were female. Though this online sample is not a probability sample, in theory, with probability samples of this size, Harris Interactive estimates with 95 percent certainty that the results of the overall sample have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points of what they would be if the entire population of U.S. youth aged 8-18 was polled with complete accuracy. Sampling error for the various sub-sample results is higher and varies. Harris Interactive is the 15th largest market research firm in the world.

The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization which educates the public about vegetarianism. Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or fowl. Vegans are vegetarians who also do not use other animal products such as eggs or dairy.

DIETARY HABITS OF 8- TO 18- YEAR-OLDS IN THE U.S. IN 2005

100% Total 8- to 18-year-olds
6% Never eat meat
6% Never eat poultry
24% Never eat fish/seafood
3% Never eat meat, poultry, fish/seafood (vegetarian)

Eight percent of females say they never eat meat. Eleven percent of 13- to 15-year-old females indicated they don’t consume meat.

$10,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS

The Vegetarian Resource Group offers two $5,000 college scholarships to high school seniors who have promoted vegetarianism. For information,
visit <www.vrg.org>

Parents may be interested in VRG’s free Parents’ e-mail list.

For students and others looking for simple recipes, a helpful book is VRG’s /Meatless Meals for Working People /(ISBN 0-931411-29-7). Featured
are over 100 quick and easy recipes, information about food in quick service chains, a quick and easy meal plan, convenient frozen food ideas, Vegetarianism in a Nutshell, and more. To order this 192-page book, send $12 to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203 or call (410) 366-8343 Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern Time.

Another helpful book is /The Teen’s Vegetarian Cookbook/ by Judy Krizmanic. Call (410) 366-8343 to order.

For more information about vegetarianism or veganism, visit *<www.vrg.org>*.




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PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-8343 Email: vrg@vrg.org
Site Updated
May 4, 2006

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