Although meat is traditionally considered to be a major part of the Canadian diet, Canadians are becoming more conscious about meat consumption and diet options. In 2016, a quarter of consumers in a survey in Canada stated that they try to limit the amount of red meat they eat, while eight percent identified themselves as vegetarians or mostly vegetarian. Indeed, the consumption per capita of beef and pork in Canada has declined between 2012 and 2014. During the same time frame, the consumption of chicken per capita slightly increased. British Columbia has one of the largest shares of vegetarians among Canadian provinces, with 13 percent of consumers in the province claiming that they were vegetarian or mostly vegetarian. Meat consumption also varies according to age group. In 2015, about 12 percent of young Canadians claimed that they were vegetarian or mostly vegetarian in contrast to only five percent of Canadians aged 50 and older.
There are several types of vegetarian diets; lacto-ovo vegetarian, lacto-vegetarians, ovo-vegetarians, or vegans. In Canada, vegans represent an above average share of consumer diets among Canada's trailing Millennials, that is, individuals aged from 18 to 24. Along with other factors, the rise of veganism amongst Canadians is one of the reasons suggested by specialists for the decline of milk consumption in the country.
Globally, vegan-labeled food products have experienced steady growth over the past few years. Products labeled as vegan had a growth rate of approximately 3.3 percent in 2015. In comparison, this share stood at 1.4 percent in 2012. Specialists argue that the popularity rise of vegan products could be related to the fact that consumers are no longer only associating vegan products with animal welfare, but also with healthier and cleaner products.