The cost of living crisis is prompting Brits to eat less meat as 43% say it is a good way to save money

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  17th February 2023

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Data shared by market research company Mintel says 43 percent of people polled believe eating less meat is a 'good way to save money'


The cost of living crisis is prompting Brits to eat less meat, according to data from Mintel.

According to the market research company, 43 per cent of people polled in 2022 believe eating less meat is ‘a good way to save money’, up from 27 per cent in 2021.

And it notes that 10 per cent of Brits eat no meat, and 47 per cent either eat no meat or poultry or have reduced their consumption. Meanwhile, a further 14 per cent would be interested in eating less meat, but have yet to do so.

However, the polling also found that the view that reducing meat consumption is ‘better for the planet’ fell to 41 per cent in 2022, from 47 per cent in 2021.

According to Mintel, this reflects how sustainability in general has become less important for many households amid current financial pressures.

Cost of living crisis 

Research released by last year showed that consumers can save money by opting for vegan sources of protein instead of meat, depending on what foods they choose.

Inexpensive foods like beans and lentils are generally the most cost-effective options, it found.

Comparing per-kilo prices, it showed that dried red lentils (at £2.40 per kilo) were one of the most economical options when compared to options like chicken breasts (£5.99 per kilo) or beef mince (£5.60 per kilo).

Meanwhile, it said, choosing vegan meat alternatives can cost the same, or more, than animal meat.

In a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, Jonathan Merry, CEO of, said: “With beef and chicken seeing the largest average price increase year on year, it’s no real surprise that many people are turning to alternatives in order to cut down their food bills.

“Our data support the conclusion that rather than attempting to replace your favourite beef mince with a fake meat alternative, consumers would be best served financially to opt for high-protein, high-carbohydrate and cost-effective options such as beans and pulses.”


Tight budgets affecting companion animals

As some try to save money by changing their diet, others have been pushed to more drastic means.

The Scottish SPCA says calls from people wanting to give up their companion animals have tripled since 2021, with the animal charity receiving 4,000 of the calls in 2022.

It cites the cost of living crisis, with some callers saying they have had to choose between feeding their animals or feeding themselves.

The number of calls from people wanting to give up dogs rose from 549 in 2021 to 1,429 in 2022, cats saw an increase from 439 to 900, rabbits 185 to 407, exotic animals 25 to 56, guinea pigs 53 to 146, and snakes increased from 14 to 42.

Chief executive, Kirsteen Campbell, said: “We saw first-hand how people were having to choose between feeding themselves or their animal, or making the heart-breaking decision to give their pet up.

“The best thing for animal welfare is to keep a human and a pet together, and that’s what our overriding ambition is through this crisis.”

Featured image credit: Prostock-Studio via Getty Images

Struggling to create cost-effective plant-based dishes? Check out our guide to 30 Cheap Vegan Meals That Taste Expensive

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

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