Infographic: How often people choose to eat meatless meals - and why they choose to do so
Shutterstock / barmalini

In the UK and the US, many people lean towards plant-based proteins as meat substitutes in food preparation for various reasons.

In a survey of 1,200 US adults and 1,200 British adults, YouGov got a closer look into why consumers are eating more meatless meat so that brands and other retailers can keep up with the food trend.

Researchers realized that several adults in both areas say that they eat meat substitutes at least once a month - and the reasons are more varied and complex than you’d expect.

Regularly, how many people eat meatless food items?

Within the US, around 29 per cent, or three in ten people, eat meat-free meals at least once a month or more.

For adults between the ages of 18 to 44, the percentage is around 40 per cent, signifying these ages are most likely to consume meatless products.

33 per cent of American “semi-vegetarians” - also known as flexitarians (that eat both meat and fish) - don’t eat meat substitutes, while 46 per cent will substitute meat products at least once a month or more.

Overall, 52 per cent of Americans say that they don’t eat meat substitutes.

On the British front, 54 per cent of people that consume meat substitutes at least once a month or more also happen to be more popular amongst younger groups of people aged 18-39.

52 per cent of British flexitarians (which is six per cent more than Americans) consume meatless products.

42 per cent of Brits overall across the board consume meat substitutes at least once.

What encourages the consumption of more meatless products?

YouGov notes that Americans overall eat meatless products at least once a month believe that the products are healthier at 47 per cent where 50 per cent of flexitarians have the same sentiments.

37 per cent eat meatless products because they think it will help better the environment, and 33 per cent feel that it’s more ethical to eat meatless items than the meat itself.

Age and dietary preferences also play a role. Americans under 45 and flexitarians are most likely to eat meat substitutes because they feel that the environment would be better off.

Additionally, Americans who consume more meat are less likely to eat meatless products for the environment at 31 per cent.

This group, however, is motivated by the cost of food. The meat-eaters will eat meat-free items because they are cheaper than consuming meat.

For more information, check out YouGov’s website here.

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