Impact of 10 Weeks to Vegan

Background

10 Weeks to Vegan is a weekly email series from Vegan Outreach containing tips, recipes, and resources for those interested in learning more about animal-free eating. To assess the effectiveness of our program, we surveyed participants before and after they began the email series.

The pre-test was emailed to participants the same week they signed up for 10 Weeks to Vegan. We sent the post-test approximately two weeks after people finished the entire 10 Weeks to Vegan series. To encourage participation, we offered a $50 Amazon gift card to two randomly chosen participants per month.

We determined p-values using a McNemar test comparing non-vegans at pre-test to total conversions at post-test.

Response Rate

We first started sending out the U.S./Canada pre-test in September 2018. It went to 48,020 people. Of those, 3,337 participants completed the survey, for a response rate of 7%. We sent the post-test to those 3,337 people. Of those, 516 completed the survey, for a response rate of 15.5%.

Results

Below are the results from the 500 participants who received the U.S./Canada version of 10 Weeks to Vegan, took both the pre-test and the post-test, and reported reading at least one email.

We considered those who moved from being a meat-eater to vegetarian or vegan, or from being a vegetarian to vegan, as a positive change. We classified those who moved in the reverse direction (vegan to vegetarian or meat-eater, or vegetarian to meat-eater) as a negative change. We counted the net changes for our total conversion figures.

Self-Identification

At the time of the pre-test, 408 people self-identified as non-vegan (either meat-eater or vegetarian) and 92 self-identified as vegan. There was a net change of 115 people who became vegetarian or vegan at post-test, for a conversion rate of 28.2%.

As seen in the table above, a large number of people—20—went from vegetarian to meat-eater. It turns out that, according to the food intake data, 19 of those people were eating some meat at pre-test, so our best guess is that being exposed to 10 Weeks to Vegan made them aware of the definition of “vegetarian,” and so they answered the post-test accurately.

Food Intake

Although some participants identified a certain way (as described in the Self-Identification section above), their reported food intake didn’t always line up with those labels. The pre-test asks how often participants ate various animal products in the last month and the post-test asks how often in the last week.

Based on the participants’ reported diets, there were 422 non-vegans at pre-test. At post-test, a net 93 people had become vegetarian or vegan, for a conversion rate of 22%.

We further adjusted the results to reflect findings from the control group in our past Leafleting Effectiveness Study (LES). The LES asked the same food intake question as our 10 Weeks to Vegan surveys. We found that those in our control group had a conversion rate of 1.6%. Because we would have used this same methodology if we had a control group for our 10 Weeks to Vegan study, we subtracted the 1.6% rate from our net conversion rate to arrive at a final, adjusted rate of 20.4%.

Elimination of Categories of Animal Products

We also looked at how often people ate certain animal products when they started 10 Weeks to Vegan compared to after completing it. There were statistically significant reductions in all categories of animal products. The results were still meaningful when we looked at participants who did not go vegan by the end of the program. The data in this section excludes those who identified as vegan at the start and/or end of the program.

Results by Signup Source

We analyzed the results based on how we signed people up for the series (in-person outreach vs online ads). Of those who had completed the post-test survey, 263 people signed up online and 237 signed up in-person. Overall, those who signed up online showed greater change.

Self-Identification

There was a 41.6% conversion rate for online signups.


There was an 11.8% conversion rate for in-person signups.

Food Intake

There was a 29.4% conversion rate for online signups.

There was a 9.6% conversion rate for in-person signups.

Additionally, we broke down results by animal product consumption before and after completing 10 Weeks to Vegan and found the following:

Results from Other Guided Challenges

In addition to our U.S./Canada version, we have 10 Weeks to Vegan guided challenges tailored to Mexico, India, Kenya, Australia, and Peru. Get Healthy is another Vegan Outreach email series aimed at helping people transition to vegan, but over the course of 30 days and with a focus on preventing chronic disease.

So far, we have results for our Mexico 10 Weeks to Vegan (below), while we’re in the process of evaluating our India 10 Weeks to Vegan and Get Healthy.

Mexico 10 Weeks to Vegan

For our Mexico version of 10 Weeks to Vegan, 105 participants have completed the pre-test and post-test surveys.

At the time of the pre-test, 95 people self-identified as non-vegan (either meat-eater or vegetarian) and 10 self-identified as vegan. There was a net change of 20 people who became vegetarian or vegan, for a conversion rate of 21.1%.

Based on food intake, there were 92 non-vegans at pre-test. At post-test, a net total of 10 people had become vegetarian or vegan. After adjusting for the LES control rate, this gives us a total conversion rate of 8.8%.

Reasons For Signing Up

Participants cited various and often multiple reasons for signing up for 10 Weeks to Vegan. For most, their motivation behind signing up for the program fell into a few main categories:

  • Health
  • Help with transitioning to veganism
  • Recipes
  • Insight into veganism
  • Animal welfare
  • Environment
  • Reduce animal product consumption

Summary

This research indicates that Vegan Outreach’s 10 Weeks to Vegan series is having a great deal of success in motivating and helping people to become vegetarian and vegan.

While we want the highest conversion rate possible, it’s the absolute number of vegans that is the most important metric for us. When doing outreach, our tactic is normally to sign up anyone who’s willing, even if they haven’t been previously primed to be interested in going vegan, in hopes that this will start them down the road, even though it could hurt our “average conversion” numbers.