The COP26 effect – Google searches for ‘plant based’ increase by 138% following Glasgow climate summit

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An international vegan food brand has revealed that Google searches for ‘plant based’ spiked by 138 per cent during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Keyword analysis from The Fry Family Food Co. showed a significant increase in online searches around the event, which saw global leaders join together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

With increased awareness of the environmental impact of meat consumption, online searches for similar terms also skyrocketed during the event, with ‘vegan food’ rising by 122 per cent and ‘vegan diet’ by 127 per cent respectively.

But while its widely reported that sustainable food systems are key to cutting emissions over the next few decades, many industry campaigners believe not enough attention was paid to the topic at COP26, with the event also coming under scrutiny for serving meat and dairy.

Despite this, the increase in public awareness is reflected in recent research from Fry’s, which found 61 per cent of families are talking about the environment more than ever before – with top topics including climate change, recycling, plant-based eating and food wastage.

And according to the findings, the younger generation is the driving force behind these conversations, with four in 10 children actively persuading parents to either reduce their meat intake or try a plant-based diet.

Tapping into the increased awareness, The Fry Family Food Co. has launched a downloadable sustainability guide, including simple tips for people to try at home to help make the household a little greener – from swapping chicken breasts for plant-based chicken-style strips, to installing a water butt for self-sufficient gardening.

Tammy Fry, international marketing director at The Fry Family Food Co, said: “We were really intrigued to see that Google searches around plant-based eating spiked during COP26. Now, more than ever before, people are thinking about the impact of their diet in relation to the environment.

“While many would argue not enough focus was given to the global food system on the agenda in Glasgow, the increased conversation around the topic has certainly helped to put it firmly on the radar for the general public.

“Events such as COP26 play an important role in making us more aware of our environmental impact. With the help of our sustainability guide we hope to inspire people across the UK to take a few small steps that could help make a huge impact – and show that together we can help to change the world from our own kitchen tables.”

Fry’s award-winning plant-based meat alternatives include chicken-style nuggets, tenders, burgers and strips, sausage-style rolls and hot dogs and the Big Fry burger. For more information, or to download the sustainability guide, visit

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