A quarter of New Zealanders expect to be ‘mostly’ meat-free by 2025, according to a new survey.
The research, carried out by veggie company Bean Supreme, saw 1,000 people quizzed about their dietary habits.
One in five (21 per cent) said they chose to go meat-free for more than half of their weekly evening meals.
More than 40 per cent of those polled said their primary motivation when picking veggie meals is health.
The next consideration was cost (28 per cent) with ethical concerns around animal welfare or the environment being touted by 14 per cent. Just two per cent cited religious reasons for not eating meat.
To break down the stats further, around 14 per cent of NZ women and 13 per cent of men eschew red meat. Men said health was the primary factor (44 per cent, against 41 per cent of women) and women cited cost as their biggest incentive (30 per cent of women vs 25 per cent of men).
The survey found that young people aged 18-24 were the most likely to see themselves following a mainly meat-free diet over the next 10 years.
Only 21 per cent of that age group selected ‘health concerns as their main reason for choosing a meat-free meal compared to half of those aged 65 or older.
Around one per cent of participants identified as vegan, with a further two per cent saying they are vegetarian. Almost one in 10 eat chicken or fish, but not red meat. A massive 81 per cent include red meat in their diets.
Liz O’Meara, from Bean Supreme, said: “Kiwis’ developing interest in a ‘flexitarian’ diet has led to the introduction of more products which fit this lifestyle option.
“According to new industry data, NZ sales of products made from plant based ingredients such as vegetarian burgers, sausages, tofu and falafel increased by over 20 per cent in the last year alone.”