A survey conducted by The Vegan Society has found that 1 in 5 Brits have cut down on meat consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey also found 15% have reduced their dairy/egg intake over the lockdown period.[1]

These figures highlight how pressures on supermarkets and consumers alike are changing buying behaviour towards a more ethical, compassionate alternative.

Out of those who have reduced their meat or dairy consumption, 41% did so due to their preferred product not being available on the supermarket shelves, while 43% chose to reduce their meat consumption out of concern for health, environmental or animal rights reasons.[2]

The cost of meat products was also noted by respondents, with 15% opting for alternatives due to the price of meat in the supermarkets, highlighting how creeping financial pressures are contributing towards a shift to plant-based alternatives.

Brits who are reducing their meat and dairy consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic have been sampling alternatives that they wouldn’t usually buy on their regular shop, the most popular being almond milk (42%), meat alternatives such as vegan sausages and burgers (38%), soya milk (36%) and pulses such as lentils and chickpeas (34%).

Interestingly, many of the 1 in 5 Brits are fans of the new alternatives they’ve tried and have committed to continue buying them in the future. Half of those who have tried vegan meat alternatives such as vegan burgers and sausages have said they will keep on purchasing them after the COVID-19 lockdown.

Meanwhile, plant milk is also proving to be popular, with 54% and 42% of those who have tried soy milk and almond milk respectively saying they will make them a regular purchase once the lockdown has been lifted.
Matt Turner, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, said:
“After the unprecedented success of Veganuary and the swathes of new vegan products hitting the shelves in recent months, it’s no surprise that many consumers have made the switch to plant-based alternatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that be for convenience, cost, or concern for their own wellbeing, the environment and the rights of animals.
Many Brits are trying these alternatives for the first time and enjoying them so much that they intend on keeping them in their shopping basket when we return to normal times.
They are purchasing items that they wouldn’t have given a second look a few months ago, but are now seeing these brilliant vegan alternatives as the new normal.”

[1] Attest consumer survey for The Vegan Society – (‘Change in behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic’) of 3682 GB adults – conducted between 10-22 April (online)

[2] Attest consumer survey for The Vegan Society – of 1000 GB adults (‘Change in behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic’) – conducted between 10-22 April (online)