New data shows that the Poles drastically reduced meat consumption and opted for flexitarian diets even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new report published by the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS) in July revealed that meat consumption in Poland dropped by 20% in 2019 compared to 2018. That means that each person ate 15,9 kg less meat than a year before.
According to GUS, average meat consumption per capita in 2019 was 61,0 kg compared to 76,9 kg in 2018.
The newest report supported by hard data confirms all the previous studies and researches results published in the last year.
In April, IQS report showed that 40% of Polish stopped or reduced eating meat and opted for a more flexitarian diet. Mintel revealed that 40% of the Poles decided to ditch meat for health reasons, concerns related to environment and animal welfare.
The reports show that more availability of alternative products on the market help customers to reduce meat consumption.
The biggest meat producers in Poland (Sokołów, Olewnik, OSM Łowicz) have already expanded their portfolio of plant-based meat products. The most popular retail chains such as Biedronka, Lidl and Kaufland offer their customers a large selection of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives.
Plant-based food companies in Poland are growing and expanding their production capabilities. In June the first Polish dairy company Jogurty Magda decided to go completely vegan and transitioned their facilities to dedicated plant-based production.
“Demand for plant products is growing both in Poland and globally,” Patrycja Homa, director of ProVeg Polska, told Warsaw Business Journal. “Although we associate it mainly with people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, as much as 90 percent of sales are generated by people who are not on any of these diets.”
The recent coronavirus pandemic has impacted people's daily lives in many ways and changed their shopping behaviour. During the lockdown, many people who stayed at home took the time to reevaluate their diets and dining habits.
A research conducted by Market Research World for Upfield showed that the coronavirus pandemic caused 25,4% of Poles to cut on the meat.
Mintel research showed that during the pandemic, 20% of Polish shoppers found a plant-based diet more attractive. The same study showed that 31,6% were buying more plant-based alternatives during the lockdown.
The numbers suggest that we are heading toward a significant social change sparking the fall in meat consumption to the lowest levels ever.