UK adults are reaching for plant-based meat

Many UK adults are eating less meat or refraining from it altogether. Over a third avoid meat most or all of the time, and a quarter of meat eaters say that they eat less meat than they would otherwise out of a concern for animals and/or the environment. As environmental concerns become more urgent, it’s possible that more people will be drawn towards products that allow them to approximate the experience of eating meat without eating animals. The plant-based meat industry is growing rapidly, and there is a great opportunity for producers of these products to attract meat eating and non-meat eating customers alike. 

Over half of UK adults have tried a plant-based meat substitute in the past year. Plant-based sausages, burgers, mince, and chicken are most popular amongst consumers, whether or not they eat meat. A third of non-meat eaters eat these products weekly, and about one in five meat eaters eat them at least once a month, suggesting that the market for these products is not entirely made up of those who don’t eat meat. 

Plant-based meat eaters are most interested in whether a product has a flavour they like (73%) and are healthy (72%). Less than three in five shop for plant-based meat substitutes based on whether the product tastes and/or has a similar texture to real meat, suggesting that companies could have success with simple products that taste good but are less processed than products that try to mimic meat exactly. 

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Written by Naomi Horn, Research Analyst, Opinium US