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12 million Brits aim to be meat-free by 2021

  • Over the last year, the number of vegans has increased by 419,000 (up 62%)
  • The vegetarian diet is set to attract the most new recruits this year, with 2.5 million Brits hoping to cut out meat and fish
  • However, only 5% of those who intended to go completely meat-free in 2019 succeeded

8 January, 2020, LONDON –

12 million Brits (23% of the population) say that they will be vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian by 2021, according to the annual diet intentions research from personal finance comparison website,

With 6.7 million saying they follow a completely meat-free diet already, this would mean 5.3 million join them over the next 12 months – a growth of 79%.

The vegetarian diet is set to be the most popular diet to take up. Over 2.5 million Brits are hoping to cut out meat and fish by the end of this year, which would take the total number of vegetarians to almost 6 million.

This is followed by 1.7 million who say they will become pescatarian and will join the 2.1 million Brits who currently avoid meat but eat fish.

Over a million people intend to become vegan over the next 12 months, and this trend follows on from a successful year for the dietary lifestyle. Finder’s research estimates that since the start of 2019, the number of vegans in the UK increased by 419,000 (62%). And this trend is set to keep growing: the number of vegans is expected to double by the end of 2021 – 2.2 million vs 1.1 million.

People struggling to completely give up meat

In Finder’s research last year, 11.7 million Brits said they would be meat-free by 2020, and this figure has grown to 12 million who say they will be meat-free by 2021.

However, it seems not many were able to stick to a meat-free diet over the past year. Of the 5.2 million that hoped to completely cut out meat by the end of 2019, only 5% (236,000) have done so. One explanation for this could be a rise in the awareness of “flexitarianism”.

Demographic breakdowns

The survey found there are currently 230,000 more females than males who do not consume meat (3.9 million vs 3.7 million). However, this year more men than women are planning to go meat-free (11% vs 9%).

Millennials are the most meat-free generation at the moment – 15% of this generation said that they currently go without meat by following a pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan diet. By 2021 gen Z could have overtaken millennials though, with 35% of gen Z aiming to be meat-free compared to 32% of millennials.

Only 9% of the silent generation are currently meat-free and a further 3% plan to go meat-free by 2021, making them the least veggie generation.

To see the full research, including breakdowns of which diets are the most popular in the UK, visit:

Commenting on the findings, Georgia-Rose Johnson, shopping and travel specialist at, said: “Although a lot of people seem to have struggled to make the permanent switch to a meat-free diet over the past 12 months, this year’s findings echo our previous research in showing that adopting a veggie diet is a high priority for the UK.

“Meat-free diets and being ‘flexitarian’ are getting more media exposure than ever so you would expect these positive trends to continue growing. If you don’t eat meat already, or are thinking of stopping, then Finder’s recent study into the most vegan-friendly city in the UK showed that most cities have a good range of options available for vegans.”


Finder commissioned Onepoll on 11-16 December 2019 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+. A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region


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