Almost half of UK adults set to cut intake of animal products

Amidst the ever-increasing variety of plant-based products entering the market, almost half (46%) of British adults are considering reducing their intake of animal products in the future.

The author(s)

  • Nick Chiarelli Trends and Futures
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  • 46% intend to cut intake of animal products in the future
  • 58% now use plant-based meat alternatives in their diet
  • 48% of adults now use plant-based milk alternatives in their diet

Research carried out by Ipsos reveals that amidst the ever-increasing variety of plant-based products entering the market, almost half (46%) of Brits aged 16-75 are considering reducing their intake of animal products in the future.

Among Brits, 48% of British adults state that they use a plant-based milk alternative in their diet, with the most popular options being almond milk (22%), oat milk (20%) and coconut milk (17%), however, 52% of UK adults say they still consume dairy milk as part of their diet. Alongside this, 58% of adults now use at least one plant-based meat alternative in their diet. The most popular alternatives among adults were vegan meat alternatives such as Quorn (29%) and alternative dishes made with legumes, such as chickpea pasta or bean burgers (28%).

What are the driving factors preventing more people from changing their diet?

The research suggests that pricing is a significant barrier, with a third (33%) claiming the cost of plant-based alternatives is too high. Against the backdrop of an impending cost-of-living crisis in the UK, this may be a concern for those producing plant-based products and advocates alike.

Besides price, the research shows that additional fundamentals, such as taste, texture and perceived ‘lack of naturalness’, are also barriers to purchasing plant-based meats. 42% said plant-based meats simply don’t taste as good, with almost a third (32%) saying they don’t find plant-based meats appealing.

When it comes to plant-based milks, there is a similar picture. Despite the ever-increasing amount of non-dairy drinks available, and notable high-street coffee shop chains removing the additional charge for non-dairy beverage orders, over half are sticking to consuming traditional milk.

Nick Chiarelli, UK Manager, Ipsos Trends and Futures, comments:

There is clearly enthusiasm for becoming more plant-based, with almost half indicating they are likely to consider reducing their consumption of animal products, but the biggest barrier to purchase is price, which could make the coming months challenging for plant-based producers, as people look to save money during the current cost of living crisis.
Our research shows that Britons are already looking at ways to reduce their weekly shop, which will mean making tough choices at the checkouts and whilst reducing our intake of meat and dairy is an important element of tackling climate change, when you have a limited budget and mouths to feed, it may slip down the pecking order.

Technical note

Ipsos interviewed a representative quota sample of 2,100 adults aged 16-75 in the UK. Interviews took place on the online Omnibus using the Ipsos.Digital platform between 28th and 29th January 2022.
Data has been weighted to the known offline population proportions for age, working status and social grade within gender, and for government office region and education, to reflect the adult population of the United Kingdom.

The author(s)

  • Nick Chiarelli Trends and Futures

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