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Research Reveals that Food is Changing This Christmas

Turkey is no longer centre stage as meat-free, dairy-free and gluten-free options are on the rise

Research released today by Whole Foods Market, reveals that whilst turkey still remains a popular choice for many (58 per cent), there has been a huge surge in the popularity of alternatives to the customary feast. More than a quarter of us will be hosting someone with a dietary requirement this Christmas.

One in ten of us will be going completely meat-free this festive season and the most common alternative diets catered for will be vegetarian (34 per cent), gluten-free (26 per cent), vegan (20 per cent) and dairy-free (16 per cent).

Attitudes towards plant-based meals are definitely changing, as over half the nation admits to favouring vegetables over meat as their favourite part of Christmas dinner. The reason for this shift is based on a number of factors.

For example, millennials tend to lead the way in embracing change and experimenting with something new, more likely to be concerned about the negative impacts of meat consumption.  Concerns about the environment, health and animal welfare are effecting these changes.

However, the over 55’s are the age group least likely to want to try something new this year, with over 80 per cent sticking to their traditional menu.

In general, consumers are changing other parts of their festive plans to be more environmentally friendly this year. A third of us will be actively trying to reduce the amount of plastic we use while others are planning to actively reduce waste and avoid wrapping paper or use sustainable alternatives.

Operations Coordinator at Whole Foods Market, Shaun Coombes, comments: “We’re pleased to be able to cater for every type of diet this Christmas. We understand the need for alternatives and this research emphasises how consumers need to be prepared to meet the growing demand for vegetarian, flexitarian and vegan option this festive season.

In-store we have a huge range of meat-free festive alternatives, low or no-alcohol drinks, environmentally friendly options and of course, the traditional Christmas staples. Whatever you are planning this year, Whole Foods Market is proud to offer the very best-quality, alternative choices – all under one roof.”

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