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Make way for flexitarians! A growing number of Hong Kong consumers are now following a semi-vegetarian diet as aspirations for a healthier lifestyle are motivating the masses to prioritize fruits and veggies. A biannual Hong Kong Vegetarian Habit Survey conducted by social enterprise Green Monday has disclosed that nearly a quarter of Hong Kong’s population are actively engaged in the rising trend of flexitarianism – a primarily plant-based diet with the occasional eating of meat or fish – and that 70% of people are willing to participate. The survey also uncovered that vegetarian consumption has shot up almost 50% from 2.5% in 2016 to 3.7% in 2018, and that the number of female vegetarians have increased significantly.
“Vegetarians in Hong Kong is a significant demographic that shouldn’t be neglected,” Founder of Green Monday, David Yeung, said in a statement. “This Survey revealed one in every four Hong Kong women practice flexitarian and almost five percent are vegetarian. While women have a bigger say in the family’s purchasing habit, this provides a big insight for the market.”
With the proliferation of health scares, a rise in animal welfare concerns and climate change dominating our newsfeeds, adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet is no longer the shocking choice it used to be in Asia. Consumers in the region who are conscious about reducing environmental risks are turning to creative food innovations and ethical fashion and philosophies to enjoy new possibilities of living.
Alongside a notable drop of “hardcore meat lovers” – almost half compared to four years ago – F&B establishments in the city have seen big returns switching over to vegan menus. Many local cafes now offer plant-based substitutes from non-dairy milk to alternative protein. While consuming a plant-based diet has been shown to reduce your risk of obesity and heart disease, advocates are encouraging people to adopt a flexitarian diet in order to combat climate change, promote food sustainability and reduce pollution. Driven by greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock industry and the burning of fossil fuels (from mining, drilling, and dirty energy) that contributes to global warming, scientists and researchers are asserting that “climate change cannot be sufficiently mitigated without dietary changes towards more plant-based diets.”
Food tech companies like Beyond Meat, Omnipork, JUST and Impossible Foods – which was a fan favorite at this year’s CES in Las Vegas – provide an easy transition for meat-eaters to forgo our relationship from traditional livestock that can revolutionize our food system. Lucky for us, all the above Food 2.0 brands are readily available and can be found in our fair city. And if plant alternatives are not your thing, Hong Kong offers plant-based diners everything from the best vegetarian buffets to the best vegetarian dim sum.
Image courtesy of Pexels.