- Over a quarter (28 per cent) of meat-eating Brits have reduced or limited their meat consumption in the last six months, according to Mintel's Meat-Free Foods 2017 Report
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A further one in seven (14 per cent) of adults say they are interested in reducing their consumption of meat or poultry in the future.
Health is noted as the main motivation for those limiting or reducing meat consumption. As many as half (49 per cent) of Brits who are interested in or who are already limiting or reducing meat consumption agree that eating too much meat is bad for their health. Meanwhile, weight management (29 per cent) is the second most popular reason for limiting or reducing meat consumption, while concern over animal welfare (24 per cent) and the environment (24 per cent) are equal motivators.
Mintel research shows that meat reduction campaigns are proving particularly influential; some 39 per cent of meat limiters or reducers say that meat reduction campaigns (e.g. Meat-free Monday, National Vegetarian Week, Veganuary) have made them more aware of the benefits of eating less meat. Online bloggers and vloggers are also having a significant impact. As many as 16 per cent of Brits say that advice from healthy eating bloggers and vloggers, such as Deliciously Ella and the Hemsley sisters, is encouraging them to reduce the amount of meat they eat, rising to three in 10 (29 per cent) of those who have already reduced or limited their consumption of meat.
Emma Clifford, senior food analyst at Mintel said:“Despite the ingrained popularity of meat and poultry, a clear trend has emerged of people cutting back and limiting how much of these products they eat. That ‘flexitarianism’, a whole new dietary phrase, was coined to describe this movement also highlights its indisputably mainstream status. The flexitarian trend carves a very accessible and unrestricted middle ground between simply meat-eaters and non-meat eaters, while acknowledging a conscious effort to eat less meat. On top of the various other benefits linked to reducing meat consumption, following a meat-free diet is likely to be aspirational to many consumers and social media is playing an important role in the attraction of this endeavour.
“The ethical card in terms of helping to maintain a green planet is a powerful one for meat-free brands to play, particularly now that the issue is attracting a lot of attention. Flagging up that consumers are making a choice which is good for the environment and which can help to create a greener future in the long-term is likely to be a persuasive selling point.”
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