Meat Eaters 2.0
According to national data, the vegan trend quadrupled between 2012 and 2017. Waterstones has 2,058 books with titles that include the word vegan as of Jan 2019, compared to 994 in August 2018. As for grocery, in 2018 the UK launched the most vegan products onto supermarket shelves than any other nation. It’s unsurprising that this momentum has caused 42% of UK vegans to make the diet and lifestyle change so recently, in 2018.
In our industry, exposure to veganism is inescapable; given the numbers and abundance of recent research, we wanted to direct a discussion about the trend to our own food market research panel.
Meat consumption is polarising at home.
29% of the 133 participants who completed the survey said that they do not eat meat-orientated meals at home, either regularly (once a fortnight) or at all. 15% eat a meat-based meal daily, and almost 50% eat one several times a week. For comparison, 21% of our consumers eat a plant-based meal daily.
Age-wise, 63% of 18-24 year olds never eat meat based meals at home and eat plant-based daily. Whereas 51% of 25-34 olds eat meat-based meals daily, but only 2% do not participate in plant-based, suggesting a more malleable attitude to meals.
Cornered into reductionist thinking, taste comes out on top.
When asked to select their primary motivation for choosing plant-based in or out of home, 31% of consumers choose taste, followed by 26% choosing health, then 23% choosing ethics and sustainability. Reasons opted for the least included variety of diet at 14%, and the convenience, speed and cost of cooking plant-based at 7%.
As the modern consumer is choosing to vary their meals and retract the fundamentality meat has traditionally had at dinnertime, plant-based options that boast taste credentials will be the ones winning the crowd. Think Oatly, M&S’ Plant Kitchen, Off the Eaten Path.
Interestingly, 72% of consumers want to eat something different to what they cook at home when dining out: 71% for regular consumers of plant-based at home and 67% of regular meat consumers.
The primary motivation for eating out is ubiquitous between plant-based and meat-eaters, and across all age groups – with 25-34 year olds the demographic most inclined to choose something different.