A growing number of Korean consumers these days look for "vegan" signs when shopping for cosmetics.
"I look at smartphone cosmetics apps to make sure I buy products that use eco-friendly ingredients, not chemical ingredients."
From shampoos to lotions, vegan cosmetics products are stamped with a vegan certification mark, proving they did not use animal ingredients or by-products in the manufacturing process, haven't been tested on animals and are GMO-free.
Since early this year, foreign and Korean local cosmetics brands have supplied drug stores with vegan products and the vegan cosmetics market is expected to top 20 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.
According to the Korea Vegetarian Union, around one-and-a-half million Koreans are estimated to be vegans or vegetarians, that's 3 percent of the total population… and is more than ten times the figure back in 2008.
"Millennials have a tendency to show their values and beliefs via their consumption patterns. With this change in awareness that emphasizes ethical consumption and animal protection, and social media that spreads this message via pictures and videos, more companies are coming up with vegan products and veganism is growing rapidly.
On factors like animal welfare, health and environmental protection, interest in veganism has increased and the vegan food businesses including burger restaurants and bakeries are booming.
At grocery stores, consumers can also easily find meat-free, plant-based products.
Already in North America and Europe, fastfood chains offer vegan burgers, vegan donuts, vegan tacos, and even vegan icecreams.
And a similar phenomenon is happening in Asia, meaning more innovative, vegan products are set to be released in the next couple of years.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.