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Writer and Editor | Newcastle, Australia | Contactable via: jemima@livekindly.com

Jemima has been writing for LIVEKINDLY for two years. She has studied songwriting at a music university in London and Psychology at Newcastle University in Australia. She is now exploring living kindly through her volunteer work at an animal sanctuary and her Environmental studies.

New data by research group Kantar World Panel has revealed that more than a quarter of evening meals consumed in the UK in 2017 contained no meat or fish. In fact, Britons consumed 200 million more meat-free meals in the past year.

According to Kantar World Panel, plant-based diets are becoming “mainstream”. An impressive 29% of evening meals now consumed are said to be free of meat and fish, a figure that has “grown consistently” in recent years.

From November 2016 to October 2017, Britons consumed 4.3 billion meat-free evening meals. However, it’s not just vegetarianism on the rise. When compared to 2015, last year the UK consumed 87 million more “entirely vegan-friendly meals”.

Additionally, dairy-free milk and cheese “are in double digit growth, and attracting new shoppers”. Dairy alternative cheese, especially, has grown “an incredible 80%” in one year alone.

Certain produce has seen improved popularity; spinach sales went up 43%, while aubergine and cherries were boosted 23% and 25% respectively.

Kantar named these dietary shifts as the “natural result” of changing public attitudes about health. “Our ideas about what’s healthy are also changing – we’re more focussed on foods that are natural and less processed, and eating a varied diet,” Usage expert Richard Allen said.

“High profile celebrities and social media influencers are also raising awareness and promoting eating less or no meat as a healthy lifestyle choice,” Allen added. Increasingly, celebs are touting the benefits of veganism for health, ethical or environmental purposes. Mya, Ne-Yo and will.i.am, among many others, have all recently spoken up about their vegan lifestyles.

The research group also credited this year’s ‘Veganuary’ for the shift in shopping habits, as a record number of people around the world took the pledge to go vegan for all of January.

This surge in participants is of notable importance; Veganuary surveys conducted 6 months after the pledge revealed that, of the individuals trialing meat- and dairy-free for the month, 67% had remained vegan.