Grocery shopping trends from a leading data company suggest the UK is moving towards a plant-based diet.
According to data and insight consultancy Kantar Worldpanel, ‘plant-based diets have hit the mainstream’.
Media Communications Manager Claire Wotherspoon says: “Insight from the Kantar Worldpanel Usage panel shows that consumers are already increasingly choosing to eat meat-free dinners, potentially making the jump to veganism less daunting.
“29 percent of our evening meals are veggie, and this has grown consistently over the past few years.
“The biggest spike has been over the past year, during which we ate an additional 200m meat-free evening meals.”
Analysts at Kantar believe the wider availability of veg-friendly food – for example Tesco’s plant-based ‘Wicked Healthy’ range – has made meat-free eating ‘more attractive and practical’.
Richard Allen, Usage expert at Kantar Worldpanel, adds: “Our ideas about what’s healthy are also changing – we’re more focused on foods that are natural and less processed and eating a varied diet.
“High profile celebrities and social media influencers are also raising awareness and promoting eating less or no meat as a healthy lifestyle choice.”
An increasing number of consumers are opting for alternative products – with brands in this sector seeing continual growth.
According to Wotherspoon: “Meat-free products, like Quorn meat substitutes, are growing strongly, with shoppers spending an additional £30m on these year-on-year.
“50 percent of spend on meat-free is going on ‘meal centres’ like sausages and burgers – showing we’re increasingly putting these at the heart of our meals.”
More people are also opting for plant-based milks and cheeses.
A number of studies in recent months have shown growth in the plant-market. Kanter claims the products are seeing ‘double digit growth’.
Rachel Knight, Consumer Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Not only are we seeing more people buying free-from dairy products, those who do are picking them up more often, suggesting they are becoming more of a staple in shoppers’ baskets and a trend that’s here to stay.”