Differences between Vegetarians and Omnivores in Food Choice Motivation and Dietarian Identity

Gahyun Kim, Jieun Oh, Misook Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Vegetarianism is on the rise worldwide and its importance is being emphasized in various ways, such as in its sustainability, environmental, food system, and ethical aspects. The purpose of the study is to identify motivations behind food choices and dietarian identity, to investigate the perceptions about plant-based foods, and to identify differences between vegetarians and omnivores. We conducted an online survey of 245 vegetarians and 246 omnivores. There was a significant difference between vegetarians and omnivores. In food choice motivations, vegetarians scored higher in the factors of ‘ethical concern’, ‘health’, and ‘convenience and price’, while omnivores responded higher in ‘sensory appeal’ and ‘weight control’ factors. In the dietarian identity, vegetarians scored higher in the ‘complex motivation’ and ‘strictness’ factors, while on the other hand omnivores scored higher in ‘out-group regard’ and ‘public regard’ factors. Although the reasons are different, we confirmed that both vegetarians and omnivores favor plant-based foods. Our results suggest that different strategies will be needed to promote plant-based food consumption to vegetarians and to omnivores.

Original languageEnglish
Article number539
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Consumer perception
  • Dietarian identity
  • Food choice motive
  • Omnivore
  • Plant-based food
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian


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