Meat Eaters Devouring UK Vegetarian Market
A 2003 survey sponsored by the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) Vegetarian Liaison Group revealed that two-thirds of Britons had eaten a meat-free meal in 2003, indicating that growth in the UK vegetarian foods market is being driven by both vegetarians and meat-consuming individuals.
The survey showed that two-thirds of Britons had eaten a meat-free meal in 2003. Of those, 7% were vegetarian while 58% cited a desire for variety as the main reason for choosing a meat-free meal.
About a third (34%) bought meat substitute products for their main evening meal, while 64% selected pasta, 65% chose meat-free pizza, and 55% selected ready meals.
The vegetarian food products market grew 8% from 2002 to 2003, but 26% of respondents indicated they would still like more choice. More than a third (35%) of those who hadn’t consumed a vegetarian meal indicated that more options might motivate them to try a meat-free meal.
The survey found that 15% of respondents cited health as the main reason for choosing a vegetarian meal. These meals were most popular with those 65 years and older, with 70% of them consuming meat-free meals in 2003. Meat-free meals were also popular among the 16 to 24 year old age group, consumed by 69% of these individuals during the year.
The vegetarian food products market can probably attribute some of its growth from the BSE and Foot and Mouth Disease crises, but these are no longer considered to be major drivers. Most people consuming meat-free meals seem to be doing so based on an interest in food variety, rather than as a meat replacement.