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30% of Brits could be following meat-free diets by the end of 2023

  • Currently, 14% of adults (7.2 million) in the UK are following a meat-free diet
  • A further 16% of adults (8.6 million) intend to give up meat in 2023
  • Vegetarianism is the most popular meat-free diet in 2023, with over 3.4 million followers
  • 12, January, 2023, LONDON –

    15.8 million Brits (30%) could be meat-free by the end of 2023, according to the latest annual research on UK diet trends from personal finance comparison site,

    The research found that there are currently around 7.2 million people in the UK following a meat-free diet (14% of the population). However, in 2023, a further 8.6 million Brits (16%) intend to start following either a vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan diet, cutting meat consumption out of their eating habits.

    Since the beginning of 2022, there has been a net loss of just over 103,000 people (0.11%) committed to not eating meat in the UK, despite over 8.7 million claiming they would be adopting a meat-free diet at the beginning of last year. This is mainly driven by a reduction in the number of vegans by 270,000. The number of vegetarians actually grew by 155,000, perhaps partly because of vegans switching over, while pescatariansim rose by 9,000. This decline in Brits giving up meat could be a result of the increasing cost of living making meat-free alternatives less accessible to those with fewer funds.

    Vegetarianism remains the most popular diet

    Vegetarianism is currently the most popular meat-free diet, with over 3.4 million Brits (6.5%) already following this diet at the beginning of 2023. This is followed by pescetarianism with 2.4 million followers (4.5%), and veganism with 1.4 million (2.6%).

    Vegetarianism also came out on top for Brits intending to try a meat-free diet in 2023, with a further 3.5 million adults wanting to start following this trend in 2023. This was closely followed by pescetarianism, with just over 3 million Brits (6%) planning to trial this diet, and 2.1 million Brits (4%) planning to follow a vegan lifestyle this year.

    Compared to 2022, there’s been a drop in the number of people planning to try a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle, by 12% and 13% respectively. However, the study showed a 25% increase in people planning to become pescatarian in 2023 compared to 2022.

    The silent generation isn’t ready to cut meat from their diet

    There is a clear generational divide when it comes to diet trends, with only 6% of the silent generation willing to cut meat out of their diet. Just 5% of this generation are already doing so, and only 1% intend to start this year. Baby boomers were just behind, with 1 in 10 (10%) already excluding meat from their diet, and 5% intending to do so this year.

    On the other end of the spectrum, 43% of those in gen Z claim to be cutting meat from their diet in 2023, and 16% already have. If all of these people were to follow through, a massive 59% of this generation could be meat-free by the end of the year. This was followed by millennials, where 26% of the generation intend to cut meat from their diet this year, and 18% have already done so. Lastly, 12% of those in gen X plan to stop eating meat in 2023, and 14% of this generation already have.

    To see the research in full visit:

    Lousie Bastock, Editor at the personal finance comparison site, said:

    As it does every year, the research shows that the percentage of people who follow up with their intentions to give up meat are small, although 2022 has been a particularly difficult year to do this. Rampant inflation has hit the public hard and some may have found it too difficult to strictly follow a meat-free diet, which can be more expensive without good planning.

    If you are keen to save money in order to follow a more healthy and meat-free diet, here are some tips to help:

    Loyalty cards
    There is no reason to not have a loyalty card at the supermarket(s) you most regularly shop at. They are free, and whilst they may not change your life, you might as well take the savings you can. The Tesco Clubcard is probably the best known example and you can see the significant discounts it brings dotted around their stores. One thing to avoid is chasing points for the sake of it by spending more than you normally would as the points you earn are unlikely to equal the excess expenditure.

    Buy in bulk
    Bulk buying is an effective way to cut the cost of your food shop, leaving more wiggle room for those potentially more expensive vegan or veggie products – just be selective about what you buy. Everyday items such as cleaning supplies or toilet paper are perfect examples of where you can really save money through bulk buying, as you’ll always need these and they won’t go off. When it comes to food, dry pasta and rice can be stored unopened for around 2 years from the time of purchase, and tinned food will last 18 months, or more in some cases. These foods are great to bulk up any dinners without having to spend too much or worry about waste.

    When creating a budget, people tend to underestimate their actual spending — do you pop out for coffee and cake a little more often than you think? The chances are, you’re not really aware of your own habits. Budgeting apps, or digital banks with great budgeting tools like Monzo, Revolut and Starling can help you get an idea of how you actually spend. You can then use this data to work out easy places where you can cut down, so you can dedicate more budget to high-quality, meat-free products.

    Finder commissioned Censuswide on 21 December 2022 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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