New research from Mintel has revealed that almost a quarter of all new food products launched in the UK in 2019 were vegan.
Veganism in Britain is booming. The Vegan Society recently conducted research to discover how many vegans are currently living in the UK, and found that the number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2019. In 2019, it suggested that there were 600,000 vegans, or 1.16% of the population.
So it’s no surprise to hear that companies are increasing their vegan offerings with the launch of new vegan-friendly products to meet this growing demand.
In fact, new research from the global market research company Mintel has revealed that almost a quarter of all new food products launched in the UK last year were vegan, with nearly two-thirds of Brits choosing to eat meat substitutes.
According to Mintel analysts, the proportion of Britons who have eaten food containing meat substitutes has risen from 50% in 2017 to 65% in 2019, with sales of meat-free foods soaring by 40% to an estimated £816 million in 2019.
Encouragingly, the proportion of meat-eaters who have taken steps to reduce their meat intake has risen from 28% in 2017 to 39% in 2019, showing a positive change in the public perception of meat alternatives.
When asked about the benefits of eating less meat, 25 per cent of consumers cited improving the environment, while 32 per cent said it helped to improve health and 31 per cent said it saved them money.
Kate Vlietstra, Mintel global food and drink analyst, said: “The rising popularity of flexitarian diets has helped to drive demand for meat-free products.
“Many consumers perceive that plant-based foods are a healthier option and this notion is the key driver behind the reduction in meat consumption in recent years.”
A growing number of restaurants and fast-food outlets have jumped on the vegan bandwagon in the past year with the likes of Greggs, KFC and Subway launching new vegan options thanks to customer demand.