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A third of the population (33.5 percent) now have meat-free or meat-reduced diets, according to the Waitrose & Partners Food & Drink Report 2018-19 which was released today.
The report, which is based on OnePoll consumer research of people across Britain – not just Waitrose shoppers, puts the change down to a growing interest in the ‘mindfulness of our wellbeing and environment’.
According to the data, one in eight Brits (13 percent) now identify as vegan or vegetarian, and a further 21 percent as flexitarian – though 50 percent of those calling themselves veg*an also admitted to eating meat on some occasions.
In addition to cutting their meat intake, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the impact of plastic.
“Nearly nine in 10 people (88 percent) who saw that episode of BBC’sBlue Planet II about the effect of plastics on our oceans have changed their behavior since,” says the report.
“And 60 percent of us now choose a refillable water bottle and coffee cup more than we did, and Waitrose has seen an 800 percent increase in questions about plastics from customers.”
Among the growing food trends listed is aquafaba – the water from tins of chickpeas.
Waitrose says: This is the year it made its way into everything from meringues to cocktails as an alternative to egg white.”
“Being mindful of how we live and eat has become a priority in today’s world,” Waitrose Managing Director Rob Collins said in a statement.
“As we become increasingly mindful of our own health, the wellbeing of our family and that of the planet, we’re reshaping how we shop, cook and eat. Welcome to the era of the mindful consumer.”