UK consumers aged 65 and older are increasingly turning to flexitarian diets, new research suggests.
In a new study, commissioned by vegan meat brand Dopsu, 52 percent of over 65s said they eat three or four plant-based meals per week. Dopsu, which is owned by Irish meat company ABP, caters specifically to the flexitarian market.
Millennials continue to lead the part-time plant-based charge. According to the study, 57 percent said that they eat meat-free three to four times a week. But Dopsu’s research proves that older generations are also cottoning on to the trend.
Abigail Flynn, a spokesperson for Dopsu, commented: “It’s not just millennials that are embracing a flexitarian diet. There’s such a broad range of ages now looking to make smart swaps and cut down on meat. The over 65s are leading the way for the rest of us!”
Meat-eating falling out of favor
The rise in flexitarianism is due to a combination of factors, including personal health worries and environmental concerns.
In 2021, Mintel released data indicating that 50 percent of British consumers were eating meat alternatives. Breaking down the findings, 65 percent of those actively seeking meat substitutes were identified as aged 16-24. Just 26 percent were 65 or older. Dopsu’s study points to a shift in generational attitudes.
Also in 2021, Sprouts Farmers Market reported that more than half of all young American consumers consider themselves flexitarian. In a 2,000 participant-strong poll, 47 percent of US citizens used the term flexitarian to self-identify. Almost the same number (43 percent) saw the approach as a permanent lifestyle change.
Healthy aging with reduced meat intake
Research suggests that eating less meat is key to healthy aging. The conclusion stems, in part, from limiting the ingestion of sulfur amino acids. This may reduce the likelihood of chronic conditions including diabetes and heart disease. Red meat, fish, and poultry all contain sulfur amino acids in large amounts, whereas plant protein houses significantly less. (Tofu is a notable exception, containing a high level.)
Alongside general health awareness, generational influence is impacting older people’s diet choices. Vegan children and grandchildren, for example, are influential on family members who have traditionally eaten meat but want to improve their health in later years or experiment more.