One-Third Of UK Shoppers Are Ditching Meat To Cut Costs, Says New Report

Some of the cheapest foods on supermarket shelves are simple plant-based ingredients


2 Minutes Read

A couple laugh as they shop in the vegetable aisle A growing body of research supports the notion that plant-based foods are more affordable - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

As the UK’s cost of living crisis worsens, more and more consumers are looking for ways to reduce their grocery bills. And according to new research, a third are cutting out meat to do so.

New research from the Vegan Society discovered that one in three supermarket shoppers are either eliminating meat from their weekly shop or scaling it back to get more out of their budget. More than half also said they would give a plant-based diet a go if it was more cost-effective.

While it’s true that some plant-based meat products can be expensive, there are affordable alternatives. Tesco, for example, aims to provide an affordable selection of vegan sausages, burgers, nuggets, and more with its Plant Chef range.

But the cheapest foods on the shelves are not meat or meat alternatives. Instead, they are simple, versatile plant-based ingredients like beans, lentils, tinned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, rice, and pasta, for example.

When the Vegan Society asked participants to rank foods in cost order, most correctly placed plant-based products as the lower end. 

An affordable plant-based lifestyle

The new research accompanies the organization’s Live Vegan for Less campaign, which aims to dispel the myth that veganism is always an expensive lifestyle choice.

“While the cost-of-living crisis is having a devastating impact on individuals and families, it’s encouraging to see more people open to reducing meat and seeking plant-based options which are beneficial for health and a welcome bonus to stretching your money further,” said Claire Ogley, head of campaigns, policy, and research at the Vegan Society.

A growing body of research supports the Vegan Society’s view. Last year, an Oxford University study revealed that ditching meat could help people cut their food costs by up to a third.

In 2020, a poll revealed that vegan meals are 40 percent cheaper on average than meals containing meat, including fish. And in 2019, another study concluded that going meat-free could save people more than £600 a year.

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