A new survey conducted by Harris Interactive has found that there are almost 8 million people in the UK that no longer eat meat. The research also found that over the next 12 months 25 per cent on the population plan to reduce their meat consumption. The survey was conducted with over 2,000 people and 2 per cent were vegan, and 6 per cent vegetarian.
Out of the factors that drove people to make the change, 31 per cent of people who made changes to their diet did so due to concerns over animal welfare, with a fifth of them were worried about the environmental impact associated with the meat industry. One in six of the participants had concerns over the ethics of meat, with this concern apparent in the 18-44 age range.
Lucia Juliano, head of CPG & retail research at Harris, said: “With persistent media campaigns promoting plant based eating, and a wide range of meat alternatives readily available, it perhaps isn’t surprising that consumes are thinking about changing their ways.
“This is particularly apparent among young consumers: 35 per cent of 18-34s plan to reduce their meat consumption in the next 12 months. Whereas over-55s aren’t so concerned: 80 per cent of them plan to make no change. It seems like times are changing, especially for the younger generation.”
However, 50 per cent of the participants found that some plant based alternatives were more expensive than meat products, which for some consumers is an issue and that companies need to be aware of this. However, almost half of the participants believed that meat has important nutrients, so there is still work to be done to change consumers’ opinions.