The research conducted for food giant Upfield (owner of brand Flora) looks deeper into pandemic diet changes of the Brits.
According to the research, nearly a half (39%) of shoppers replaced butter with margarine and dairy-free spreads during the lockdown.
The company surveyed 2,511 UK adults earlier this month and found out that about a tenth of them said they had tried to increase the number of plant-based products they purchased.
This number nearly doubled for the group of 18 to 24-year-olds.
Before the lockdown, costumers focused on taste (45%) and value for money (24%) before health (16%) when doing food shopping.
However, now over half of Brits (53%) focus on the health benefits of the products.
Young people are the ones driving the change, with over two thirds (68%) of 18 to 24-year-olds saying they had become more aware of choosing healthy food since March last year.
13% of respondents said they had bought less meat, and 10% said they had bought less dairy.
According to the poll, 34% of shoppers had started buying more fresh fruit and 15%, reducing the amount of alcohol they bought.
51% said they would purchase margarine and plant-based spreads if they contained only natural ingredients.
Mainly younger people are interested in healthier vegan options: 57% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 63% for those between the ages of 25 and 34 would buy a healthy vegan spread.
“It’s great to see there’s been an increase in the amount of people looking to make more conscious decisions around what they buy and what they eat,” said Upfield UK & Ireland general manager Damian Guha in a statement. “Surely one of the few positives to come from lockdown.
“Whether it’s making healthier choices in our purchases or reducing our meat and dairy consumption – such as by changing from dairy butter to margarine, as so many people have – every small change helps in the long run.”