A recently published statistical study by Nielsen reveals that the number of vegetarians in Portugal has quadrupled in the last decade, with 120,000 now adopting a vegetarian diet , or 1.2% of the Portuguese population.

The study was sponsored by the Vegetarian Center which in 2007 had come to the conclusion that there were 30,000 vegetarians in Portugal at the time, ie approximately 0.3% of the population had been vegetarian for ten years. The number has grown significantly in this time frame.

The results are seen as very positive by the Portuguese Vegetarian Association, although not surprisingly, as we had reliable indicators that the Portuguese vegetarian market has expanded widely over the past decade, as well as the catering and small-commerce sector.

This study, which had a sample of 2000 individuals residing in mainland Portugal, and was conducted in September 2017, also reached the following conclusions, with a maximum error margin of 2.2%:

  • Women and young people aged 25-34 are those with the highest abstention from consumption of animal products (ie meat, fish, eggs and dairy products);
  • The results suggest that frequent meat and fish consumption seems to have decreased , although slightly over the last decade, from 79% to 77% and from 76% to 70%, respectively, indicating a trend towards a more moderate consumption of this. foods;
  • 0.6% of the population follows a strictly vegetarian or vegan diet (not eating meat, fish, eggs or dairy). This number, which corresponds to about 60,000 individuals, represents twice the number of vegetarians found in the 2007 study, which also suggests a tendency for the Portuguese population to adopt plant-based diets.

The full results of this 2017 study, including the sample and methodology used, can be found on the Vegetarian Center website . The results of the 2007 study can also be found here .