More Brits ‘are now seeing these brilliant vegan alternatives as the new normal.’
According to a Vegan Society survey, 1 in 5 Brits have reduced eating meat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the people surveyed, 41% admitted that they reduced meat consumption because their preferred product was unavailable, while 43% simply reduced out of concern for health, environmental or ethical reasons.
Given the pandemic situation, the rise in plant-based meat demand is trending globally. A market research report released by Nielsen showed that US sales of vegan meats soared by 279.8 % and 206.4% for the weeks ending on March 14 and March 7 respectively when compared with the same period last year.
However, data highlights that the plant-meat sector is not thriving because of Covid-19 alone. Another report by Allied Market Research shows that developed markets such as North America and Europe have witnessed a surge in health and environmental awareness and consumers preferring meat consumption are gradually declining with a corresponding increase in the interest for meatless alternatives.
The report estimates the vegan meat sector would be worth $8.1 billion by 2026.
“After the unprecedented success of Veganuary and the swathes of new vegan products hitting the shelves in recent months, it’s no surprise that many consumers have made the switch to plant-based alternatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that be for convenience, cost, or concern for their own wellbeing, the environment and the rights of animals,” Matt Turner, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, said.
According to The Vegan Society UK survey 15% respondents have also reduced their dairy/egg intake over the lockdown period and more Brits are sampling plant-based alternatives.
The data shows that popularity for plant milks as well as vegan burgers and sausages has soared. 54% and 42% of those who have tried soy milk and almond milk respectively said they will continue buying them after the COVID-19 lockdown
Half of those who have tried vegan burgers and sausages also admitted they will keep on purchasing them once the lockdown has been lifted.
“Many Brits are trying these alternatives for the first time and enjoying them so much that they intend on keeping them in their shopping basket when we return to normal times,” added Turner.
“They are purchasing items that they wouldn’t have given a second look a few months ago, but are now seeing these brilliant vegan alternatives as the new normal.”
Meat industry hazards
The virus that has been widely linked to a wet market in Wuhan, China in December has got the spotlight back on the public health implications of eating meat.
Besides risking disease outbreaks, animal agriculture is viewed as the biggest polluting contributor on the planet.
Reports have revealed that animal agriculture is responsible for nearly 18% of the total global greenhouse gases emitted in the world, a percentage greater than that contributed by all types of transportation combined.
The repercussions of the meat industry on land and water resources is even more pronounced with deforestation, soil erosion, extinction of species, water contamination, and more.
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