More than 20 per cent of UK children already vegan or would like to be, survey finds

‘Revelatory’ findings show more than one fifth of those aged five to 16 no longer eat meat

Conrad Duncan
Thursday 23 September 2021 01:13 BST
<p>Plant-based diets have risen in popularity in recent years partly due to concerns around health and the environment </p>

Plant-based diets have risen in popularity in recent years partly due to concerns around health and the environment

More than 20 per cent of children in the UK are either already vegan or would like to become vegan in the near future, according to a survey.

Research by BBC Good Food found that 8 per cent of children aged five to 16 were following a vegan diet, while 13 per cent were vegetarian.

The survey, which collected the views of 1,004 children in that age group in July and August this year, also found that 15 per cent of respondents would like to be vegan and 21 per cent wanted a vegetarian diet.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent of children said they would like there to be no plastic packaging on food in 10 years’ time - although only 37 per cent believed this would happen.

In response to the results, BBC Good Food editor Christine Hayes said: “The findings are revelatory and show that far from being fussy eaters, children want to take over the nation's kitchens - baking and preparing meals, trying different kinds of foods.

“They are passionate about exploring alternative diets and methods of food production that could be more sustainable for the planet.”

Vegan or plant-based diets have seen a marked increase in popularity in recent years for a number of reasons, with some people cutting out meat or other animal products over issues such as health, animal welfare and the environment.

Research by The Vegan Society suggested in 2018 that there were about 600,000 vegans in the UK, with that figure having risen sharply from about 150,000 just four years earlier in 2014.

The number of vegan food and drinks products in UK shops has also soared, with figures showing trademarks for plant-based products have more than doubled over 12 months.

Data compiled by the trademark law firm EMW showed that 107 trademarks had been successfully granted for products such as vegan ice cream and meat-free burgers in 2019 - a 128 per cent increase on the 47 trademarks recorded in 2018.

Additional reporting by PA

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