Research: Half of Brits limit their meat inta...
Research

Half of Brits limit their meat intake

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Eco-conscious Brits are increasingly seeing a positive link between eating less meat and environmental benefits. And it’s older generations who are most likely to see the link: 51% of those aged 65+.
Eco-conscious Brits are increasingly seeing a positive link between eating less meat and environmental benefits. And it’s older generations who are most likely to see the link: 51% of those aged 65+.

UNITED KINGDOM, London. The number of Brits who believe eating less meat is better for the environment doubles between 2018-21. 49% of Brits are limiting their meat intake or not eating it at all, up from (41%) in 2020. At the same time the sales of sausages, bacon and burgers dip 4% following the 2020 high.

While locked down Brits sought comfort in breakfast and barbecue favourites such as sausages and burgers, according to new research from Mintel, meat reduction has returned to around the level seen in 2019, following a dip in 2020.

„This poses a challenge for the meat industry and points to vast further potential for meat substitutes’ growth. It also offers compelling evidence of how media coverage around meat has reached consumers, with eating less meat widely associated with various benefits.“
Richard Caines, Mintel Senior Food & Drink Analyst

Last year brought change

Just under half (49%) of Brits are now limiting their meat intake or not eating it at all, up from four in ten (41%) in 2020 - and almost back in line with 2019 levels where the figure stood at 51%. While the number of Brits not eating red meat or poultry has remained largely unchanged (10% in 2020 versus 11% in 2021), there has been a significant increase in the number of Brits limiting/reducing their meat eating (31% in 2020 versus 38% in 2021).

The trend towards meat reduction comes as sales of sausages, bacon and burgers dropped an estimated - 4.3% in 2021 falling to £2,628 million, following the 2020 high when sales increased 22% to reach £2,755 mill. While sales remain 16% above 2019, they are predicted to fall further in 2022.

Meanwhile, sales of meat substitutes are estimated to have increased by 9% in 2021, reaching £598 mill., albeit at a slower rate of growth than 2020 when sales increased an impressive 34% to reach £551 mill. Strong consumer interest in limiting/reducing the eating of meat, combined with the market retaining its momentum in terms of new launch activity and more retail space will drive further growth in sales.

Overall, more than half (53%) of Brits enjoy meat substitutes, signalling their widespread appeal beyond non-meat eaters. Despite the buzz around the vegan trend, only 2% of Brits follow a purely vegan/plant-based diet.

Eating less meat is better for the environment

Eco-conscious Brits are increasingly seeing a positive link between eating less meat and environmental benefits, a view that has nearly doubled from a quarter (25%) of consumers in 2018 to almost half (47%) in 2021. And it’s older generations who are most likely to see the link: 51% of those aged 65+, compared to 45% of 16-34-year-olds.

Helping the environment is seen as the number one benefit from meat reduction, greater than helping consumers manage their weight (28%) or saving money (27%).  Other benefits include reducing the risk of disease (25%) and feeling good (23%).

„More people are making a positive link between eating less meat and benefiting the environment. Mintel predicts a longer-term increase in sustainability. People are becoming more conscious of their purchase choices and the wider consequences. “
Richard Caines, Mintel Senior Food & Drink Analyst said

Source: Mintel
tags:
London poultry

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