What you need to know

Despite the UK remaining a nation of meat eaters, many consumers are becoming more vigilant about how much they are eating, and 28% have consciously reduced or limited the amount of meat/poultry in their diets in the six months to March 2017. In the current health-conscious climate, it is no surprise that health is the primary motivator for consumers to cut back, particularly in light of attention-grabbing news that processed and red meat could cause cancer. However, there are a variety of other benefits perceived to be linked to eating less meat, for example related to animal ethics, the environment and weight management. Therefore reducing meat intake taps into consumers’ holistic approach to diet, helping to strengthen this trend.

The meat-free foods market has benefitted from this trend. Volume and values sales enjoyed annual growth of 2% and 4% respectively in 2016, following three years of consecutive annual declines. This marks a turning point in the market, with both volume and value sales expected to continue growing over the next five years.

Products covered in this Report

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

This Report covers the retail market for meat-free foods or vegetarian foods for in-home consumption.

The market size includes meat substitutes, or dishes made using meat substitutes, including ready meals, sausages, burgers, shaped products, deli, ingredients (eg vegetarian mince), pastry products and snacks.

Meat substitutes are products often made from textured vegetable protein such as soy that imitate the texture, flavour and appearance of certain types of meat, such as beef, poultry or fish. This includes products like mycoprotein-based Quorn. However, they can also be made within plant-based ingredients which do not try to imitate meat, such as vegetable or bean burgers.

Although mainstream dishes suitable for vegetarians such as vegetarian soups are referenced in the Report, the market size does not include these.

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