Almost half of the people in the Netherlands agree that eating meat is a thing of the past. More Dutch people are leaning toward vegan and vegetarian diets.
A study by Kien — which was commissioned by environmental organization Natuur & Milieu — queried residents of the Netherlands about their attitudes toward meat. The research found that almost half agree with the statement: “eating meat every day is no longer of this time.”
The study included one thousand people. Thirty-seven percent of participants said they eat vegetarian at least one day a week.
Natuur & Milieu commented that the study “gives good hope for a change.”
Dutch People Ditching Meat
Separate research from earlier this year, completed by Nu, looked at the shifting eating habits of the Dutch. In a study of 20,000 people, Nu found that more than 30 percent of people have lowered their meat intake significantly. People were mostly motivated by animal welfare and environmental concerns.
Animal-based meat sales are declining while plant-based meats are becoming more popular in Dutch supermarkets. In August, market researcher IRI Nederland released data showing that the number of vegan meat products in Dutch supermarkets had increased by 51 percent since 2017. In the same timeframe, the sales of beef, pork, and game dropped by 9 percent.
Meat Producers Eager to Keep Up
More and more meat producers are turning to plant-based food to stay relevant. Dutch meat giant Vion just announced plans to turn a beef processing facility into a vegan meat factory. The facility is in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. It once processed 2,500 cows a week. It will now be used to make Vion’s new plant-based meat range, called ME-AT.
Unilever’s 81-year-old Dutch food brand Unox — known for its canned meat, ham, and smoked sausages — now sells vegetarian smoked sausage (Rookworst).
Unox enlisted the help of creative agency Anthem to design the new product’s packaging. Sara Jones, Anthem Benelux design director, commented: “We’re proud to have helped the Unox team respond to and capitalize on changes in consumer desires and are excited to keep exploring design for a changing world as the brand looks to diversify their product range.”