With The Great British Bake Off adding Vegan Week to this year’s competition, the latest shopper research from IGD reveals that one in two (52 per cent) of grocery shoppers either follow, or are interested in, a plant-based diet, whether this be vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian.
This rises to two in three (68 per cent) for 18-24 yearolds.
Trends like veganism are increasing in popularity as consumers look for alternatives to meat.
Over the past year shoppers bought an additional £30m of meat substitutes, such as Quorn, while sales of dairy-free cheeses were up 80 per cent.
IGD said that 30 per cent of 18-24 year-olds follow, or consider following, a vegan diet versus 17 per cent of all shoppers, indicating that the next generation will be far more interested in non-meat diets.
However, this does not mean an end to meat production as loyal vegans are still relatively niche – only 2 per cent of British grocery shoppers claim to follow a vegan diet all of the time.
Nearly half (45 per cent) of British grocery shoppers claim they follow a plantbased diet because it is healthier, whilst 41 per cent claim they do it for ethical reasons.
Some 30 per cent say it is better for the environment, whilst 21 per cent do it to lose weight or look better.
18-24 year-olds are more likely than the average shopper to be motivated by ethical reasons (51 per cent), environmental concerns (48 per cent) and to lose weight/ look good (25 per cent).
Vanessa Henry, shopper insight manager at IGD, said an increasing number of people are adopting a more flexible approach to their diets, whether it’s just for one meal or one day a week. Some shoppers claim it also helps them reduce their overall food bill.
This suggests plant-based products won’t just be confined to the 2 per cent of shoppers who identify more regularly with veganism. They will appeal to a much broader group of shoppers.
In Yorkshire, food giant Quorn is set to create hundreds of jobs by pumping a further £7m into a new product development centre. It has announced the investment at its new ‘Global Innovation Centre’ at its headquarters in Stokesley, North Yorkshire.
The company reported £112m in like-for-like sales in the first six months of the year, up from £100m during the same period in 2017 as interest in meat substitutes increases.
Quorn said it will help create “hundreds of jobs” in the region over the next five years.
Quorn has been capitalising on a growing appetite for meat-free products amid the growing popularity of vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets, with the sector growing by 10 to 20 per cent year on year.
The company is now confident it can become a $1bn business in under 10 years.
The vegan trend is something that Quorn Foods is responding to with the launch of more tasty vegan products such as Quorn Vegan Chicken-free Slices, Quorn Vegan Hot and Spicy Burger, and Quorn Vegan Fishless Fingers.
This opens up an area of huge potential for Yorkshire’s food producers, especially if they focus on improved taste and nutrition as this is an area that is calling out for improvement.
Trends like veganism are increasing in popularity.