Most Plant-Based Eaters Want Vegan Food Kept Away From Meat, Poll Finds

Should plant-based meat have its own aisle?


3 Minutes Read

A selection of vegan meat next to animal meat at the supermarket Many supermarkets keep vegan meat in the animal meat aisles - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

Most plant-based eaters would prefer vegan foods to be kept away from meat and animal products, according to a recent social media poll carried out by Plant Based News (PBN).

Read more: Lidl Sees Plant-Based Sales Soar After Placing Products Next To Meat

PBN asked followers on social media if they preferred vegan foods at the supermarket to have a dedicated aisle or to be stocked alongside meat and other animal products.

On Meta’s Threads, 72 percent of the 334 voters preferred a separate plant-based section. This sentiment was echoed on X, where 84.5 percent of the 937 voters said the same. Meanwhile, 76 percent of Instagram voters said they also preferred a dedicated aisle.

In the UK and some other countries, many plant-based options are still stocked in separate “free-from” sections alongside gluten-free, lactose-free, and other allergen-friendly foods. But despite how plant-based eaters feel about the mingling of meat with the meat-free, supermarkets are increasingly putting alternative proteins alongside animal products.

In Tesco, for example, plant-based proteins are now placed in a cabinet on the refrigerated meat aisle. Proponents of this move suggest that it helps normalize plant-based meat and makes meat-eaters and flexitarians more likely to sample them while shopping, thereby benefiting the environment and farmed animals by reducing meat consumption overall.

Read more: Would Changing Vegan Labels Help Meat-Eaters Choose Plant Foods?

Where does plant-based food have the biggest impact?

A person browsing a supermarket with their trolley
Adobe Stock Some studies have shown that shoppers are more likely to choose plant-based alternatives when they’re in the meat aisle

Derek Sarno, renowned plant-based chef and founder of Tesco’s Wicked Kitchen, previously told PETA that he was in favor of placing vegan foods where everyone could access them.

“As a vegan myself, I am a firm believer that placing options in front of where meat-eaters shop will open the door,” explained Sarno. “Most meat-eaters wouldn’t go to a plant-based aisle, therefore, we’ll bring it to them.” A recent study by Lidl found that vegan alternative sales grew by seven percent after the supermarket placed them next to meat.

The industry as a whole has increasingly focused on attracting and retaining meat-eating and flexitarian consumers over vegan ones. Vegans make up just one percent of the US population and nearly five percent of the UK population. Meanwhile, 70 percent of meat-eating Americans also eat plant-based foods, and 36-42 percent of Britons are limiting meat consumption or cutting back to some extent.

Impossible Foods – which has always openly targeted meat eaters – recently updated its packaging to better reflect the preferences of its core consumer base, flexitarians. However, as highlighted by PBN’s recent poll, the industry risks alienating its dedicated vegan customers.

Read more: Waitrose Launches Fresh Oat Milk In Similar Bottles To Dairy

Become A Plant Based Chef with our 1000+ recipes! 🥦

We know it can be hard to keep cooking up tasty, exciting meals. So we thought of them for you! Browse our selection of vegan recipes below.

© 2024 Plant Based News is a mission-led impact media platform focused on elevating the plant-based diet and its benefit to human health, the planet, and animals. | Plant Based News Ltd, PO Box 71173, London, SE20 9DQ, United Kingdom.