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UK Sales Of Meat-Free Foods To Surpass £1.1 Billion By 2024

UK Sales Of Meat-Free Foods To Surpass £1.1 Billion By 2024

by Agi Kaja

The popularity of vegan and plant-based products show that the British are hungry for meat-free foods. 

According to the last research from Mintel, the sales of meatless foods have grown an impressive 40% from £582 million in 2014 to an estimated £816 million in 2019. Due to high demand, the sales are expected to exceed £1.1 billion by 2024.

The report from Minter shows that the proportion of meat-eaters who have reduced or limited the amount of meat they consume has increased from 28% in 2017 to 39% in 2019. 

Women are more likely to go for vegan options. 43% of women and 36% of men have reduced the meat in their diets. This number is higher (45%) among those under 45.

The results also show that 38% of people would prefer to substitute meat with other ingredients such as cheese or legumes, instead of buying meat substitutes.

Kate Vlietstra, Mintel Global Food & 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.

“As the meat-free market becomes increasingly crowded, brands will need to find more ways to distinguish themselves from their competitors – it’s no longer enough to just be meat-free. Companies will need to be transparent about the healthiness of their products, and also address the quality and quantity of nutrients to win over the discerning consumer. Meat-free products are generally aimed towards young professionals, who tend to be receptive to trying new foods, but we are also likely to see these products targeted at both children and over-55s in the future. As food education within schools improves, it seems that the meat-free food market is missing a trick by not targeting children and families. Meanwhile, over-55s are likely to be attracted to functional health claims and clean labels.”

People are more aware now of the environmental impact of goods and services, and they demand more sustainable products. 

Nearly half of the British consumers (48%) limit meat and dairy consumption to reduce their negative impact on the environment. 

Shoppers also prefer environmentally-friendly packaging. 

The majority (75%) of meat-free buyers would choose a product in eco-packaging.  

When asked about the benefits of meat-free products shoppers cited ‘helps to improve health’ (32%), ‘it’s a good way to save money’ (31%), ‘improving the environment’ (25%).

The report also shows there is a ‘feel-good’ factor associated with meat-free products: 79% of shoppers say that eating meat-free foods makes them feel good. 

Kate Vlietstra, Mintel Global Food & Drink Analyst, said:

“Whilst the health benefits of eating less meat appear to still be the primary motivation of flexitarian consumers, the environmental impact of the meat industry has also become an important reason for meat avoidance. Gen Z consumers (aged 16-24) are leading the charge here, with over half (54%) of under 25s seeing the reduction of animal products as a good way to lessen humans’ impact on the environment.

“TV documentaries, news coverage and celebrity influencers have all contributed to the growing concern about the impact of meat consumption on the environment. However, there is scope for meat-free brands to be more vocal about their environmental credentials. Creating a USP in holistic ‘green’ credentials, which must include environmentally-friendly packaging, can create a compelling point of differentiation.”

Earlier this year Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) revealed that nearly a quarter (23%) of all new UK food product launches in 2019 were labelled as vegan, compared to 17% in 2018.

Although the plant-based and vegan alternatives market is thriving, there has been no significant increase in the proportion of consumers who say they are vegan. According to Mintel, only 1% of the UK population declares to be following a vegan diet. 

Agi Kaja

Agi Kaja

News Editor Focused On Conscious Consumerism. Vegan Business Promoter. Animal Advocate. Environmentalist.

Breaking the news on plant-based food innovation, new vegan products, sustainability, animal welfare, environment, science, society and conscious shopping.

Contact: [email protected]

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