eCommerce: Vegan Products Online Share & Online Shops

Vegan Products in Germany: Consumer Insights & Top Products and Online Stores

Veganism in Germany: Dive into consumer insights, top products, and the rise of online vegan shopping via leading eCommerce platforms.

Article by Cihan Uzunoglu | October 06, 2023

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Curious to know who's riding the vegan online shopping wave in Germany? Thanks to a comprehensive survey by ecommerceDB and Statista, we have a granular view of the demographics and behaviors defining this market. From Millennials to Baby Boomers, we dig into who exactly is clicking "purchase" on those cruelty-free goods. 

Results of the survey uncovers not just the "who", but also the "what" and "where", peeling back the layers on preferred product categories and the top-performing online shops. Whether you're a retailer seeking to penetrate this growing segment, or a consumer wondering if your shopping habits align with your peers, the following deep dive promises to bring the German vegan eCommerce landscape into sharper focus. Lettuce begin!

A Quarter of Online Shoppers in Germany Bought Vegan Products Online

According to the survey results, 4 out of 10 of online shoppers in Germany reported having deliberately purchased vegan products in the past 24 months, while the same rate drops to a quarter when only online purchases are considered.

Younger Users Are More Likely to Buy Vegan

Adding age into the mix, we see that more than half of online shoppers under 24 have made a vegan purchase, where only one tenth of those above 64 reported such a purchase. This indicates that the younger the user, the more likely they are to have purchased vegan products. In addition to this, younger vegan product shoppers were also found to be more likely to have purchased vegan products online instead of offline.

Females Are More Inclined to Buy Vegan

Gender analysis of users, too, reveals valuable insights. Regarding both overall and exclusively online vegan purchases, female online shoppers are more likely to have deliberately purchased vegan products, in comparison to male online shoppers. Despite the fact that male online shoppers have a lower purchase rate, male vegan product shoppers are reportedly more likely to have purchased vegan products online instead of purely offline.

Share of Online Shoppers in Germany Who Bought Vegan Products (All vs. Online) by Age

Higher Income Linked to Increased Vegan Purchases

Age and gender, of course, are not the only criteria that have an impact on the preferences of vegan product shoppers in Germany. It is clear from the data that household income is, for the most part, in direct proportion to both overall and exclusively online vegan product purchase rates, as well as the likelihood of opting for shopping online instead of offline.

3-Person Households Are the Most Likely to Buy Vegan

Another aspect of households also plays a significant role in understanding the user base for vegan products in Germany: the number of people living in a household. According to the survey results, almost half of online shoppers living in 3-person households reported having deliberately purchased vegan products in the past year, compared to one third of online shoppers in 2-person households.

Share of Online Shoppers in Germany Who Bought Vegan Products (All vs. Online) by Household Size

Looking solely at online purchases, we see that 3-person households are also in the lead here, as more than one third of them have deliberately purchased vegan products online in the same time period, compared to one fifth of online shoppers living in 1-person and 2-person households. Furthermore, vegan product shoppers from 3-person households were also reported to be more likely to have purchased vegan products online than offline, in comparison to other vegan product shoppers.

Larger Cities See More Vegan Purchases

The last aspect we will be looking at in this context is the size of cities in which online shoppers live, a key factor in having a full picture of the topic. In regards to both overall and exclusively online vegan purchases, research suggests that online shoppers living in cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants are more likely to deliberately buy vegan products compared to smaller cities.

What's more, vegan product shoppers from cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants were found to be more likely to have purchased vegan products online than offline.

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As we've unraveled the consumer demographics and how they influence the propensity to purchase vegan products, the dynamics of the vegan online shopping scene in Germany comes into clearer focus. Yet, moving beyond who these consumers are, it's critical to delve deeper into the "what" and the "why" — the specific categories of vegan products that capture shoppers' attention, and the motivations that spur them to make the purchase.

Two Thirds of Vegan Online Shoppers in Germany Purchased Meat Substitutes Online

While 24% of all online shoppers in Germany have deliberately purchased vegan products online over the past year, the share of online shoppers having purchased meat substitutes online is 14%. Looking at the other vegan product categories, we see that the purchase rate for milk substitutes is 11%, followed by vegan cosmetics with 9% and vegan clothing with 7%. 

Focusing exclusively on vegan online shoppers in Germany from here on, we see that about two thirds of them have purchased meat substitutes online, while half of them opted for milk substitutes, 39% for vegan cosmetics and one third for vegan clothing. In addition to this, comparative data also provides useful insights into the behavior, preferences and purchasing patterns of vegan online shoppers.

Share of Vegan Online Shoppers in Germany Who Bought Selected Product Categories by Household Income

Findings indicate that vegan online shoppers who purchase milk substitutes are also likely to purchase meat substitutes online. In a similar way, those who purchase vegan cosmetics online were found to be also likely to purchase vegan clothes online.

Milk Substitutes Are More Popular Among Younger Shoppers

The likelihood of shoppers purchasing vegan products online differs based on various demographic factors. As an example, in terms of gender preferences, female vegan online shoppers are more likely to purchase vegan cosmetics and clothing online in comparison to male vegan online shoppers. Regarding age, it is observed that vegan online shoppers younger than 35 are more likely to purchase milk substitutes online, while those older than 35 are more likely to purchase vegan fashion and meat substitutes online, in comparison to other age groups.

Lower Income Households Are More Likely to Buy Vegan Cosmetics and Clothing

Aside from age and gender, living conditions also play a role in understanding the consumer preferences towards different vegan product categories. Findings point out that, in comparison to low-income households, vegan online shoppers from high-income households are more likely to buy meat or milk substitutes online.

Households with lower income, on the other hand, were found to be more likely to buy vegan cosmetics and vegan clothing online.

Bigger Households Are More Inclined to Buy Vegan Cosmetics

On that note, household size is another determinant in this context. While the popularity of meat and milk substitutes, as well as vegan clothing, doesn’t fluctuate all that much in different household sizes, households with a higher number of persons living in them were found to be more likely to buy vegan cosmetics.

Motivations of Vegan Online Shoppers in Germany to Buy Selected Vegan Product Categories

Milk Substitutes Are More Favored in Smaller Cities

Let’s also have a look at the shopping habits of vegan online shoppers in relation to the size of the cities in which they live. Analysis shows that meat substitutes are more likely to be bought by vegan online shoppers living in cities with 1 to 5 million inhabitants, whereas milk substitutes are more likely to be bought by those in cities with 100,000 to 1 million inhabitants.

As for vegan cosmetics and clothing, the former is more likely to be bought in cities with more than 1 million inhabitants, while the latter in cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants.

Large Product Choice is the Top Motivation for Shopping Vegan Online

Having talked about the impact of demographics on the kind of vegan products shoppers prefer, it is equally important to understand the reasons behind what drives these shoppers to purchase certain products online.

Overall, survey results suggest that the biggest motivation to purchase vegan products online is the large choice of products. In addition to this, shoppers of milk substitutes and vegan clothing are particularly motivated by online prices as well, while other reasons include availability of products and transparency regarding ingredients.

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As we scrutinize the subtleties of consumer behavior and motivations in Germany's vegan eCommerce sector, it's clear that the story extends beyond just what people buy. The virtual storefronts where these transactions take place are equally key players in this evolving narrative. Next, we'll shift focus to the online outlets that are earning the allegiance of Germany's discerning vegan shoppers, offering essential data for businesses striving to succeed in this competitive market.

Veganz is the Most Popular Online Vegan Shop in Germany

Looking at the most popular online shops named in the survey, Veganz ranks number one with 20% of vegan online shoppers having made a purchase within the past year. The first vegan supermarket chain in Europe is followed by Keimling Naturkost and Reformhaus, both at 18%. However, we also found other stores to be popular among some demographics. 

Females Prefer Veganz; Males Opt for Vekoop and Keimling Naturkost

Gender distribution analysis of vegan online shoppers reveals valuable insights. Although Veganz is the most popular vegan online shop among female vegan online shoppers in Germany, males tend to prefer Vekoop and Keimling Naturkost over other shops: while almost a quarter of female shoppers prefer Veganz, one fifth of male shoppers opted for Vekoop and Keimling Naturkost.

Young Shoppers Prioritize Sustainability

Interpretation of vegan online shops and age groups of shoppers using them, too, uncovers certain patterns. With consumers below 25, for example, themes of sustainability, health and fitness come to the forefront, while shoppers in the age group of 25-34 tend to focus on shops advertising well-known brands such as Oatly and Veganz.

Share of Vegan Online Shoppers in Germany Using Selected Vegan Online Shops by Household Income

As for the 35-44 age group, it is evident that natural products are of importance, where shops such as Reformhaus are in the spotlight. Shoppers above 45, on the other hand, tend to focus on shops such as PureNature and others which were not named in the survey.

Keimling Naturkost and Vekoop Attract US$50K+ Income Shoppers

Apart from gender and age, understanding the living conditions of vegan online shoppers is also crucial, where businesses can use this knowledge in order to tailor their offerings and marketing strategies. Looking at the correlation between popular vegan online shops and their users’ income, we see that Veganz and Foodist are more popular among shoppers from households with a yearly net income of US$15,000 to 30,000.

Keimling Naturkost, Vekoop and Le Shop Vegan, on the other hand, tend to have a user base from households with incomes of more than US$50,000.

Veganz, Reformhaus Attract Single-Person Households

Another aspect of living conditions in this context is household size, as numbers indicate that online shoppers from different household sizes tend to shop in different online stores. Findings of the survey indicate that Veganz, Reformhaus, and PureNature are more popular among shoppers living in single-person households, whereas Keimling Naturkost, Vekoop, and Le Shop Vegan tend to have a user base from households with 3 and more people.

Share of Vegan Online Shoppers in Germany Using Selected Vegan Online Shops by City Size

Small-City Shoppers Prefer Veganz and Foodist; Large Cities Favor Reformhaus and Veganz

Before finishing off with product categories, we will also have a look at what role city size plays in vegan online shop preferences of shoppers in Germany. Looking at the population of the cities where vegan online shoppers live, the results show that shoppers living in cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants prefer shops such as Veganz, Foodist and PureNature.

In contrast, those living in cities with a population of between 100,000 and one million list Keimling Naturkost and Vekoop as their most popular vegan shops. Additionally, Reformhaus and Veganz are reported to be especially popular among vegan online shoppers living in cities with more than one million inhabitants.

Kokku Leads in Meat Substitutes; Le Shop Vegan Tops Milk Substitutes

Having covered demographics, let’s also have a look at which online shops are preferred for certain types of products. As far as vegan product categories go, 80% of vegan online shoppers who purchased meat substitutes shopped at Kokku. Among respondents who purchased milk substitutes, Le Shop Vegan takes the lead with 73% of shoppers having made a purchase here.

With more than half of shoppers making a purchase, Vegan Leben is the most popular choice for vegan cosmetics. Finally, we see PureNature and Vegan Leben on top when it comes to vegan clothing, as almost half of shoppers have made a purchase from these shops in the past year.

Vegan Products in Germany: Key Takeaways

Closing our thorough examination of Germany's vegan online retail landscape, it's clear that a complex interplay of demographic factors shapes the storyline of purchasing decisions. Up next, we distill the essential findings that capture the nuances of this growing sector, offering valuable direction for businesses and shedding light for consumers eager to understand their place in this evolving market.

Younger, female online shoppers in Germany with higher incomes and living in larger cities or 3-person households are more inclined to purchase vegan products online.

In Germany, two thirds of vegan online shoppers primarily opt for meat substitutes, with distinct preferences for various vegan product categories influenced by factors such as age, gender, household income and size, and city population.

Veganz emerges as the leading online vegan shop in Germany, with consumer preferences for various vegan retailers shaped by demographics.