As it’s World Vegan Day, supermarket retailers across the nation are renewing their efforts to make shopping more inclusive of alternative diets. According to new research, Brits spend £25 a week on vegetarian and vegan products, totalling a staggering £1.3 billion a year.
Ubamarket, the innovative retail shopping app, has commissioned nationally representative research across over 2,000 UK adults to reveal how dietary trends are reshaping the whole retail industry:
- Brits spend £25 per week on vegetarian and vegan products, totalling £1.3 billion a year
- 36% of meat-eaters, representing 18.97 million Brits, are buying vegetarian and vegan specialist products
- 23% – 11.77 million – are stocking up gluten-free meals despite not having any intolerance
- 31% of Brits – 16.08 million – are eating more vegetarian and vegan meals than ever before
- A quarter of shoppers, or 12.77 million Brits, say supermarket layouts make shopping for meat-free products difficult
- 32% of Brits – 16.72 million – are consciously trying to eat less meat, for reasons ranging from their health to the environmental impact of the agriculture industry
- 26% of Brits said that trends like Veganuary and Sugar Awareness Week are shaping their shopping habit
- Waitrose have launched a new vegan range featuring 14 new products. The supermarket has seen a 110% increase in sales of the fish-less fingers in the space of one week.
This year, we have seen a huge rise in people choosing a flexitarian diet – with millions of Brits adopting eating habits that reduce the amount of meat, dairy and eggs they eat. What factors are influencing Brits to change their eating habits?
- Health issues relating to the consumption of meat – a diet high in red-meat has been proven to increase the levels of TMAO, a compound known to be linked to heart disease and strokes.
- Environmental impact of the meat and dairy industry – the meat and dairy industry requires a significantly larger proportion of water and land compared with that needed to produce fruits and vegetables, contributing to deforestation and causing 24% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
- Ethical ramifications of eating meat – while many people argue that eating meat is essential for a healthy diet, consumers are increasingly considering the morality of the meat industry in its current form. 250,000 Brits took part in Veganuary this year, up from just 3,300 at its launch in 2014.
Will Broome, CEO and Founder of Ubamarket:
“It is great to see that supermarkets are responding to consumer demand and becoming more and more aware of the increase in flexitarianism, vegan and vegetarian diets. Retailers are welcoming meat-free diets into the mainstream by incorporating products into the general layout of a store rather than relegating them to a few shelves in the corner. Our research has shown that shoppers find it difficult to locate specialty items in-store, leading to frustration and confusion. The importance of having systems in place that grant freedom for shoppers to make their own dietary decisions has never been more apparent. With easier ways to identify important allergens and ingredients on labels, more convenient store layouts and a smoother shopping format, consumers will be able to subscribe to alternative diets with ease.”