A new report by Ipsos Making a Plant Based Future, takes an in-depth look at the public’s attitude towards a plant-based diet, and shows the avoidance or reduction of meat in diets has typically been presented as something of an extremist choice. We are now at a point where meat and dairy reduction is not just seen as something for those with strong principles or specific dietary requirements. Instead, a global shift towards a more sustainable way of eating is vital, in moving away from a reliance on consuming meat and dairy, towards a plant-based lifestyle. This report identifies how we have got to this point to where we are now, and how to overcome the barriers that are stopping us from embracing, a truly sustainable relationship with food.
How do brands and legislators help?
The current cost of living crisis may represent a potential tipping point to drive change. However, other plant-based options also need to be offered at attractive price points in order that the co-benefits of health and sustainability have the chance to add further motivation.
Policy makers can help too, by supporting the move to more heavily plant-based diets with educational campaigns (along the lines of the “5-a-day” campaign) to build awareness of the health, cost, and environmental benefits of reducing consumption of cow’s milk and meat. By exploring the introduction of more direct and tangible levers to changing consumption, along the lines of the sugar tax and the HFSS with levies apply to high impact meat and dairy products, although this would, of course, be more controversial.
Making a plant-based future an idea whose time has come is clearly in the interests of both individuals and broader society. Making this a reality will require co-ordinated efforts from all players and we hope that this report offers insights into how to begin the conversation with consumers.