UK consumers ate 4.4bn meat-free meals during 2018

Fruit and vegetable sales have boomed throughout 2018, as UK consumers ate 4.4 billion plant-based meals throughout the year. In comparison to the previous year, 150 million more meat-free meals were being consumed, as vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets increase in popularity.

The new information from Kantar Worldpanel states that 1 per cent of households have a vegan, 5 per cent had a vegetarian and 10 per cent had a flexitarian.

As a result of the varying diets in UK households, fruit, vegetable and salad sales grew by £46 million compared to January 2017, as more people participated in Veganuary and adopted healthier eating regimes after the Christmas period.

Head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, Fraser McKevitt, said: “Cucumbers, carrots and berries, in particular, proved to be shopper favourites, rocketing by 26 per cent, 22 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

“Meanwhile, over two-thirds of customers bought an item labelled ‘free-from’ over the past month, with dairy alternatives, like plant milk, making up a quarter of total free-from sales.”

Meat-free foods are regular purchases for UK shoppers, with market research firm Nielsen also reporting a 1.5 per cent volume growth in fresh produce during the past four weeks ending 26th January.


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