Flexitarianism on the rise amongst UK consumers
Published:  09 August, 2017

Flexitarianism in the UK is predicted to grow further, according to a recent survey.

Research from Mintel has revealed that over a quarter of British consumers (28%) have reduced or limited their meat consumption in the last six months. It also claimed that one in seven (14%) of adults were interested in limiting or reducing consumption of meat or poultry in the near future.

Emma Clifford, senior food analyst at Mintel, said: “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.”

The research also found as many as half (49%) of Brits who were interested in or who were already limiting or reducing meat consumption agreed that eating too much meat was “bad for their health”. Meanwhile, weight management (29%) was the second most popular reason for limiting or reducing meat consumption, while concern over animal welfare (24%) and the environment (24%) were equal motivators.

This move to limit the amount of meat hasn’t led to people cutting it out of diets altogether, however, as the research showed that just 9% of British consumers didn’t eat any meat or poultry. Animal welfare (54%) was the number one reason why non-meat-eaters said they avoided meat, while for those under 25, environmental benefits was the leading factor.

Although this trend is reducing the amount of meat being consumed by the British public, the health sector has already been earmarked by AHDB as one of future growth opportunity. Steven Evans, senior analyst at AHDB, said: “Health is an area which is growing at a faster rate than that of enjoyment, so it’s certainly a trend to watch.”