Most Britons believe that they don’t need meat in order to have a good meal, new research from YouGov finds.
The Meat and Poultry 2017 report shows that over half (56%) think that meat isn’t a necessary component of breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The data shows that among those who are eating less meat than last year there are a range of reasons why they have chosen to cut back. A third (33%) have done so for health reasons and around the same proportion (32%) are limiting their intake as a consequence of trying out more vegetarian and pescatarian options.
However, YouGov’s report also highlights that for some meat is becoming a luxury. Three in ten (29%) who are eating less meat than last year cite increased expense, while a quarter (25%) say they simply can’t afford to buy as much as they did a year ago.
The research also highlights a growing awareness of the potential environmental impact of meat production. The proportion who think that people should all eat less meat in order to help the environment has increased steadily from 28% in 2015 to 34% now. This is even higher among 16-24 year-olds where the figure rises to 50%.
Although Brits are far from falling out of love with meat, they are increasingly happy to leave it out of their meals. While health reasons are a big part of this, the cost of meat is a major concern to many and with inflation on the rise and household incomes set to be squeezed, consumers could opt to leave meat out more often. Increasing numbers could shift from having cuts of meat on their shopping lists to cutting meat from their shopping lists.