The demand for red meat in the UK is falling. According to recent research, sales in the category fell £185 million last year.
According to the research by Nielson, in 2019, beef sales declined by 4 percent and pork sales declined by 6.4 percent. Sales of vegan and veggie meat products, however, saw the biggest growth rate, rising 18 percent to £405 million.
In January 2019, more than 830,000 people gave up some animal products for the first time. More than half were still veggie or vegan when questioned six months later, and those that had returned to eating meat said they ate fewer animal products than they did before.
A study by Leatherhead Food Research recently revealed that more than one-third of people of Britain now have at least one dedicated meat-free day a week.
The ‘Evolving Demands’ of Consumers
Cindy Beeren — operations director at Leatherhead Food Research — said in a statement last year, “people are becoming more purposeful about food choices in the home. Manufacturers and retailers are changing their offering to meet evolving demands.”
Last year saw the rise of the vegan sausage roll, thanks to bakery chain Greggs. The product launch helped to push the chain’s sales past £1 billion for the first time ever, and many supermarkets rushed to imitate the company’s success. Now, vegan sausage rolls are on shelves everywhere across the UK.
It’s not just vegan sausage rolls; 2019 saw many restaurants and supermarkets rush to cater to rising consumer demand and launch new vegan products.
KFC trialed vegan chicken — it has since launched a meat-free burger nationwide — and Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, and Tesco were among the supermarkets that debuted brand new plant-based ranges. The latter launched a vegan meat range called Plant Chef back in September 2019.
Tesco’s director of plant-based innovation Derek Sarno said at the time, “the biggest impact we can make as individuals, for our health, but also that of the planet is to eat more plants.” He added, “At Tesco, we’re making that easier than ever by providing the widest and best range of plant-based options available on the UK high street.”