More than fifth of people in the UK (23 percent) believe a meatless diet is the healthier option, according to YouGov.
The organization also found that more than a third of consumers – 37 percent – are actively trying to reduce their meat consumption.
“Veganism isn’t the only dietary trend for the New Year – reducing meat intake, particularly red meat, and generally following a more ‘flexitarian’ diet, is another tendency that brands are counting on,” said the YouGov report.
“Burger King has created a plant-based version of the famous Whopper aimed specifically at those who want to eat less meat; it’s cooked on the same grill as beef burgers and contains dairy fillings, so strict vegans will pass it by.”
Recent research from market analyst Mintel revealed similar numbers – saying 39 percent of Brits now self-identify as meat-reducers (up from 28 percent in 2017).
Respondents cited a number of reasons for eating less meat, with improved health topping the list (32 percent), followed by saving money (31 percent), and the environmental benefits (25 percent).
“The rising popularity of flexitarian diets has helped to drive demand for meat-free products,” Kate Vlietstra, Mintel global food and drink analyst, said.
“Many consumers perceive that plant-based foods are a healthier option and this notion is the key driver behind the reduction in meat consumption in recent years.”