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Ed Leahy


A third of Brits now flexitarian or veggie

Waitrose survey reveals big rise in low-meat diets across the country as customers become increasingly mindful of provenance

A third of Brits now flexitarian or veggie

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A third of Brits now adopt meat-free or meat-reduced diets according to a Waitrose survey.

The supermarket’s annual food and drink report revealed 33.5 per cent of the UK’s population are cutting meat down, or kicking it out of their kitchen. Two thirds of that figure were from flexitarians, 21 per cent of the country, who eat plant-based diets with some meat on the side.

Just 3 per cent of the country said they were vegan, while nine per cent ticked the vegetarian box.

The survey is based on consumer research of shoppers across Britain, not just Waitrose, combined with focus group research, and a record of millions of Waitrose purchases.

The retailer also revealed that turnips and jackfruit were some of the best recent performers in fresh produce, thanks to the flexitarian trend. According to the report, the turnip is now “appearing in everything from gratin to vegetarian meatballs and mash”.

Jackfruit was also benefiting from its suitability as a meat substitute “now found in burgers and tacos. it’s also a popular vegetarian substitute for pulled pork”.

Waitrose managing director Rob Collins said: “Being mindful of how we live and eat has become a priority in today’s world. As we become increasingly mindful of our own health, the wellbeing of our family and that of the planet, we’re reshaping how we shop, cook and eat. Welcome to the era of the mindful consumer.

“The driving force behind this movement, as our research uncovered, is
a desire to look after ourselves and our environment. Just how much this consciousness is taking hold was borne out by the incredible reaction to the final episode of BBC One’s Blue Planet II, a rallying call to tackle the plastic waste in our oceans. The mindful movement marks a subtle shift in how we 

The Waitrose survey further revealed that there has been a 114 per cent increase in mentions of vegan food and cooking on their twitter handle, comprising more than 22,000 mentions.

Their vegan and vegetarian range has also grown by 60 per cent in the past year, with 60 per cent of vegans and vegetarians also admitting they adopted the diet in the past five years.

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