More evidence of the trend towards a so-called “flexitarian” diet has been revealed in the results of new market research. The research, which has been conducted by grocery analysts IGD, reveals that more than half of British consumers are either following or are interested in a flexitarian diet, which emphasises plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation. It’s more flexible than fully vegetarian or vegan diets.
The trend is even more marked amongst younger people, with 68 per cent of 18-24-year-olds drawn to a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diet. The findings reflect evidence from elsewhere.
A recent report by AHDB looked at the rise of plant-based food products. “Increasingly, we see that for younger people especially, food has become the new rock and roll,” said Susie Stannard, senior consumer insight analyst with SHDB, who produced the report. UK supermarkets have seen a significant rise in demand for vegan and vegetarian food.
Susie Stannard said that, although there was growing interest in veganism, the actual numbers on a vegan diet were still quite low. “But over time more people who eat meat say they are reducing their red meat consumption for health reasons. We can term these meat reducers are flexitarians, as they are more flexible in their diet,” she said.
“More food is chosen for health reasons than ever before. Because of this, one in three evening meals are now actually meat free. In response to this, food manufacturers and retailers are looking for opportunities to tap into this trend.”
[Opportunities for the potato industry is obvious here. Editor, Potato News Today]