A quarter of Brits have reduced the amount of animal products they’re consuming since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to research by The Vegan Society.
The latest survey focused on changing consumer habits over the last 12 months and found 1 in 5 (20%) people have reduced the amount of meat they are eating while 12% say they’re eating less eggs and dairy. Seven per cent of respondents revealed they have cut down on all three, meaning that 1 in 4 (25%) have cut back on animal products.
The study also found that more than a third (34%) are spending more time with their companion animals, and 32% are thinking more about their personal impact on the planet.
In a second survey aimed at those who had cut back on animal products, 35% said they were mainly motivated by health concerns, with that figure rising to 39% for those aged 55+, while 30% said the environment was their primary motivation. 1 in 4 (21%) said it was down to animal rights issues.
That means, 86% of people cutting back on animal products during lockdown, are doing so for the same three primary motivations people give in their decision to go vegan – health, environment, and animals. Other motivations included animal products being too expensive (8%) or not being available in shops (5%).
More people started buying plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy during lockdown.
More than a half (54%) revealed they’d bought meat alternatives for the first-time with an impressive 78% saying they will continue to buy them again in future. For those who had specifically said they had reduced their meat intake over lockdown the results were even better with the majority (80%) stating they’ll continue to do.
More than a third (36%) of respondents trying oat milk for the first time and of those 67% saying they’ll purchase it again post-lockdown. Again, for those who had specifically said they were reducing their dairy intake, oat milk was even more popular, with 43% buying it for the first time and 69% revealing they plan to keep buying it too. Meanwhile, 60% of those (30%) who bought coconut milk for the first time in lockdown, plan to keep buying it in future.
When it comes to vegan staples such as pulses, including lentil and chickpeas, 32% bought them for the first time in the last 12 months and of those, 74% said they’ll get them again in future. This was the highest percentage for future repeated purchase.
The latest findings mirror the results of a similar survey conducted by The Vegan Society during the first lockdown last year. The 2020 survey discovered that 1 in 5 Brits had cut down on meat consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic while 15% had reduced their dairy/egg intake over the lockdown period.