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With the effects of coronavirus limiting our access to shops and forcing changes in daily routine, many customers are taking the opportunity to rethink their shopping habits. A study by The Vegan Society found that 1 in 5 Brits have cut down on meat consumption since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
41% of those cutting down on their meat and dairy consumption stated supermarket stock levels as the main reason for the change, but 43% also attributed health and ethical reasons to the cutback. Financial pressures were also cited as a factor, with 15% opting for meat-free alternatives to save money during the uncertain economic climate. Substitutes such as almond milk, vegan sausages and burgers, plus cupboard staples including lentils and chickpeas are the most popular options for those recently choosing to cut down on animal produce.
“After the unprecedented success of Veganuary and the swathes of new vegan products hitting the shelves in recent months, it’s no surprise that many consumers have made the switch to plant-based alternatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that be for convenience, cost, or concern for their own wellbeing, the environment and the rights of animals,” explains Matt Turner, spokesperson for The Vegan Society.
The shift in attitudes isn’t sticking around just for lockdown, either. A large number of customers are enjoying their new meat-free diet, and are committed to maintaining these choices in the future. Half of customers trying meat-alternatives will regularly purchase them again, even after the restrictions of lockdown are lifted.
The study also found that 15% of Brits have reduced their dairy and egg intake while staying at home. Milks such as soy and almond are proving to be a hit with customers looking for plant-based options, with 54% and 42% respectively saying they will continue to choose vegan options beyond the crisis.
“Many Brits are trying these alternatives for the first time and enjoying them so much that they intend on keeping them in their shopping basket when we return to normal times,” explains Matt. “They are purchasing items that they wouldn’t have given a second look a few months ago, but are now seeing these brilliant vegan alternatives as the new normal.”
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