Over a quarter (28%) of meat eating Brits have reduced or limited their meat consumption in the last six months, according to new research from Mintel.
A further one in seven (14%) adults say they are interested in limiting or reducing their consumption of meat or poultry in the future, proving that the meat-free movement is no flash in the pan.
Overall, half (50%) of UK adults have eaten meat-free foods in the last six months, with 38% having eaten vegetable-based products, such as a burger made from vegetables, 32% eating bean-based products and 26% nut-based products.
However, it is the younger generations which is the most likely to be following a meat-free lifestyle. One in five (19%) Brits under the age of 25 say they do not eat red meat or poultry, rising to one in four (25%) women in this age group.
The number one motivation for those limiting or reducing meat consumption is health with as many as half (49%) of Brits interested in reducing meat consumption agree that eating too much meat is bad for their health.
Commenting on the research, Emma Clifford, senior food analyst at Mintel, said: “Despite the ingrained popularity of meat and poultry, a clear trend has emerged of people cutting back and limiting how much of these products they eat. That ‘flexitarianism’, a whole new dietary phrase, was coined to describe this movement also highlights its indisputably mainstream status. The flexitarian trend carves a very accessible and unrestricted middle ground between simply meat-eaters and non-meat eaters, while acknowledging a conscious effort to eat less meat. On top of the various other benefits linked to reducing meat consumption, following a meat-free diet is likely to be aspirational to many consumers and social media is playing an important role in the attraction of this endeavour.”