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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.

Flexitarian diet

“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.”

Meat reducers

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.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.