Nearly a quarter of all new food products launched in the UK last year were vegan, and two-thirds of Britons prefer to eat meat alternatives according to last reports.
According to a report from the global market research company Mintel, the number of Britons who have eaten plant-based meat alternatives has grown from 50% in 2017 to 65% during the last two years.
The report says the sales of meat-free food products have risen by 40% and reached an estimated £816m in 2019.
Mintel found that the number of Britons who have reduced the amount of meat they consume has grown from 28% in 2017 to 39% in 2019.
Despite the increasing popularity of flexitarian diet, 88% of Britons would still eat pork, beef and poultry occasionally.
The number of vegan food product launches has risen from 17% in 2018 to 23% last year while vegans only make up about 1% of the UK population, the figures show.
When asked about the benefits of eating less meat, 25% of consumers said improving the environment, while 32% said it helped to improve health and 31% said it saved them money.
Kate Vlietstra, Mintel global food and drink analyst, said: “The rising popularity of flexitarian diets has helped to drive demand for meat-free products.
“Many consumers perceive that plant-based foods are a healthier option and this notion is the key driver behind the reduction in meat consumption in recent years.”
Vegan and meat-free options are extremely popular among consumers and boost sales of food producers and restaurants. Restaurants and fast-food chains are continuously adding more vegan and vegetarian options to their menu.
Greggs credits its high profits last year to the success of a vegan sausage roll launch and has now added more vegan products to its menu for 2020.