What's happening in the meat free market?

All about meat free and meat reduction

We've been keeping a close eye on what's been happening with the vegetarian and vegan market in retail, out of home and foodservice and want to share with you some of the key insights we've found that highlight the importance of having meat free meal solutions on your menu.

Price is top of mind when it comes to purchasing meat substitutes

One in ten consumers are now choosing plant-based alternatives because they represent better value.¹ More and more consumers are looking for new ways to save money whilst still being able indulge on favourite menu items whilst eating out. 52% of red meat/poultry eaters say they would buy meat substitutes that were cheaper than meat, rising to 64% of those who view eating less meat as a good way to save money.²

Consumers are intrigued to try a meat free alternative

61% of UK adults can identify at least one meat alternative that they’d like to try that they don’t already eat.³ This highlights an intrigue in meat alternative foods that foodservice providers can tap into when building their menus. Consumers are keen to try vegan and vegetarian foods. This suggests adding more meat free options on your menus could increase interest in your establishment. We have some great selection of meat free alternatives in our range, why not try our Shiitake Mushroom Burger.

Communicating ‘quality’ is key to justify higher prices

64% of Brits think it’s worth paying more for products of a higher quality and 1 in 3 consumers associate dishes with “no artificial ingredients” as high quality.4 Using meat-free alternatives on your menus and emphasising freshness of the dish, seasonal ingredients, health-credentials is great way to appeal to health conscious consumers and those wanting to reduce their meat intake and boost consumer perceptions on high-quality meat-free meals.

59% of people feel vegetarian options in restaurants are limited

Even though vegetarians can eat a vegan diet, excluding vegetarian meals entirely from your menu could be discouraging and research show that at least 55% of people feel vegetarian options are actually less appealing when they’ve been made vegan!5 This highlights that both vegetarian and vegan options should be included on the menu.

Research has also shown that the terms ‘vegan’ and ‘vegetarian’ actively discourage meat-eaters from selecting plant-based or meat free options.6 Some businesses have started using the term plant-based on their menus instead of vegan or vegetarian to encourage uptake of their meat free options. Or you could simply include the ‘V’ and ‘Ve’ symbols on the menu without using the terms in the dish name.

Meat eaters are continuing to make health conscious changes within their diets

46% of UK consumers aged 16-75 are considering reducing their intake of animal products in the future, 48% of UK adults currently use plant-based milk in their diets and 58% use at least one plant-based meat alternative in their diet.7 All of this suggests a rise in flexitarians among meat eaters and an increased appeal for plant-based products and meat alternatives.

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1 Mintel, Meat Substitutes, UK 2022

2 Savanta, 2023

3 CGA Proprietary data, 2,003 UK consumers

4 Mintel, Eating Out Review, UK 2023

5 Bidfood and CGA bespoke consumer research, 2003 UK adults, July 2022

6 Parkin, B. and Attwood, S., 2022. Menu design approaches to pro mote sustainable vegetarian food choices when dining out. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 79, p.101721.

7 https://www.ipsos.com/en-uk/almost-half-uk-adults-set-cut-intake-animal-products

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