Vegetarian Food Demand Increases

vegetarian food for pubs licensed premisesBritain today is more health conscious than ever. So much in fact, that the licensed trade business needs to embrace the drive for more healthy options.

Are you still offering a choice of meat free pasta, or cauliflower cheese as your pub meal vegetarian option? You may want to address that…

New research from Mintel has found that 12% of global food and drink products launched in 2013 carried a vegetarian claim, up from 6% in 2009. Further to this, 2% of global food and drink launches carried a vegan claim in 2013, up from 1% in 2009.

Today in Britain, the vegetarian diet is firmly on the map with 12% of UK adults following a vegetarian or vegan diet, rising to 20% of 16 to 24s. In the UK alone, Mintel estimates the meat-free food market to have hit £625 million in 2013 and further forecasts it to rise to £657 in 2014, up from £543 million in 2009. Indeed, Mintel’s research reveals that almost half (48%) of Brits see meat-free products as environmentally friendly and 52% see them as healthy.

Flexitarianism – a New Kind of Vegetarian

Laura Jones, Global Food Science Analyst at Mintel, said:

As World Vegetarian Day arrives, our research highlights just how much of an impact vegetarianism has had on the UK food and drink market. Globally, the outlook for the meat alternative market is positive and will continue to be driven by an emerging consumer trend towards meat reduction on a part-time basis, also called flexitarianism, entailing increased consumption of plant-based foods without completely cutting out meat. Indeed, many meat-reducing consumers have adopted a flexible attitude, choosing to limit meat, rather than eliminate it entirely. Launches of vegetarian and vegan products echo manufacturers desire to communicate the suitability of their products to the widest range of consumers.”

Signifying the rise of the ‘flexitarian’, there seems to be a trend for consumers to embrace more vegetable-based meat dishes. Today, as many as one in eight (13%) UK meat-buyers claim they would be interested in buying half and half products from the supermarket, with 50% red meat and 50% vegetable protein for example.

There is increasingly demand for vegetarian ingredients, reflected by the increasing use of both vegetarian and vegan claims on new product launches. Ingredients will continue to be scrutinised by consumers and manufacturers need to be responsive and proactive to quell any consumer concerns.

To read more about about the rise in demand for vegetarian food, please see the the new Mintel report on Meet Free & Free-From foods: http://store.mintel.com/meat-free-and-free-from-foods-uk-september-2013