Millions have cut down on meat and dairy intake during lockdown, survey finds

More than one in four have chosen to reduce their meat intake out of concern for health, environmental or animal rights reasons

Olivia Petter
Tuesday 28 April 2020 14:35 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Millions of people have cut down on meat and dairy products during lockdown, new research has found.

A new study conducted by The Vegan Society has found that one in five (20 per cent) of Britons are reducing their meat intake while 15 per cent have chosen to reduce their dairy and/or egg intake.

The findings reflect not only how consumer habits are changing in the pandemic, but how people are adapting their diets in light of various supermarket shortages.

For example, out of those who have reduced their meat or dairy consumption, 41 per cent said they did so due to their preferred product not being available on the supermarket shelves.

Meanwhile, 43 per cent have chosen to reduce their meat consumption out of concern for health, environmental or animal rights reasons.

Some people are also eating less meat because it is too expensive, with 15 per cent opting for alternatives due to facing financial pressures.

Matt Turner, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, said: “After the unprecedented success of Veganuary and the swathes of new vegan products hitting the shelves in recent months, it’s no surprise that many consumers have made the switch to plant-based alternatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that be for convenience, cost, or concern for their own wellbeing, the environment and the rights of animals.”

Turner pointed to the fact that many of the 3,682 people surveyed, many have been purchasing vegan food items for the first time, such as almond milk, vegan sausages, and soya milk.

“Many Brits are trying these alternatives for the first time and enjoying them so much that they intend on keeping them in their shopping basket when we return to normal times,” Turner adds.

“They are purchasing items that they wouldn’t have given a second look a few months ago, but are now seeing these brilliant vegan alternatives as the new normal.”

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