According to supermarket sales, the U.K. consumed over 150 million more meat-free dinners in 2018 than in 2017.
In total, consumers ate a whopping 4.4 billion meat-free dinners in 2018 alone, with two-thirds of consumers buying “free from” products. Dairy alternatives made up a quarter of “free from” sales.
The head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel stated:
Looking back on 2018 as a whole, one of the most notable consumer trends is the shift to a more plant-based diet. … Today, 1% of all households include a vegan, 5% have a vegetarian and 10% have flexitarians in their ranks. This move has contributed to consumers eating a total of 4.4 billion meat-free dinners in 2018, an increase of 150 million meals on the year before.
Patty Johnson, associate director of purchase intelligence at Mintel, found that health concerns, ethics, and the rising cost of meat motivate consumers to buy meat alternatives, but other significant drivers are taste, time saving, and ease of use.
Millennials are driving a global shift away from meat. According to Forbes, GlobalData found that a full 70 percent of the human population is either reducing meat consumption or leaving meat off the table altogether, and the generation often mislabeled as self-absorbed and lazy—the one born just after Gen X—is spearheading that worldwide change.
Fiona Dyer, GlobalData’s consumer analyst, stated:
The shift toward plant-based foods is being driven by millennials, who are most likely to consider the food source, animal welfare issues, and environmental impacts when making their purchasing decisions.
Over the past decade, veganism has seen consistent growth among millennials. The New York Times called millennials “Generation Nice,” as they “collectively favor companies who embrace the values of good citizenship.” The Times also stated that this generation boasts more self-identified vegetarians than any other—three times more than Gen X and 12 times more than baby boomers.
Additionally, GlobalData reported that there were six times as many vegans in America in 2017 as in 2014, and Allied Market Research predicts that the meat substitute market will grow 8.4 percent from 2015, potentially reaching $5.2 billion globally by 2020. Coherent Market Insights predicts that the global vegan meat market will surpass $6.5 billion by 2026.
There’s no stopping the demand for vegan alternatives. France saw a 24 percent soar in vegan and vegetarian product sales in 2018. Australia saw a 92 percent increase in launches of products carrying a vegan claim between 2014 and 2016.
A booming plant-based market is surely here to stay. Recent studies reveal that Gen Z—the generation after millennials—might be even more into vegan food.
This global shift away from animal products is great news for the countless animals who suffer horribly at factory farms. Cows, pigs, and chickens raised and killed for food are subjected to unthinkable cruelties: tiny, filthy cages; burns and amputations; and merciless slaughter.
You have the power to stop this heinous cruelty. When you choose a compassionate vegan lifestyle, you take a stand for animals, the environment, and your own health. Order your FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide today. And check out our Pinterest page with hundreds of vegan recipes!