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20% of people in the UK will be ditching meat over the Christmas holidays, a new survey has found. The poll, conducted by food delivery platform Deliveroo, also found that the majority of people who are going vegan or vegetarian for Christmas have only recently made the switch to plant-based eating.
The Deliveroo poll, which involved 2,000 respondents, also found that nearly 60% of those who are going meatless for Christmas had made the plant-based transition within the past four years.
Of that group, more than 46% began their vegan and vegetarian eating habits in the last two years. Interestingly, the research also found that more males are now shifting to meatless diets, with men being far more likely to have made the vegan or vegetarian switch within the past year (47%), compared to women (23%).
Vegan and vegetarian diets are mainstream
When asked why they were giving up meat on the table for Christmas this season, the top-cited reason was that Brits expect to be catering for other vegans and vegetarians too. More than 55% said they predicted having guests who were plant-based.
Other key motivators included health (32%), variety (27%) and animal welfare (27%).
These findings from Deliveroo align with previous surveys in the UK, which also suggests a major shift away from meat and dairy products was underway in the country. One poll from The Vegan Society found around a quarter of the population had cut back on animal-based foods since Covid-19.
Deliveroo’s own sales data also shows a massive uptick in plant-based orders, with the platform reporting 105% year-on-year growth in vegan dishes since November 2020.
‘Demand for vegan food is growing every year’
Commenting on the unstoppable vegan trend, Deliveroo’s vegan category lead Elena Devis said it was “fantastic to see demand for vegan food continue to grow every year.” She shared that the growth recorded by Deliveroo was down to the wider range of plant-based foods available across restaurant menus and in retail stores.
The platform now boasts more than 14,000 vegan and vegetarian-friendly partners within the UK, and says the meatless category is “one of the fastest-growing”. By region, the cities in the UK that are ordering the most vegan food are Brighton, Bristol and Leeds.
Devis previously shared on a panel at the Vegan Women Summit that vegan orders were taking over on-demand food delivery services, especially in the grocery channel, with 50% of carts containing plant-based milk, meat or egg alternatives.
Global plant-based trend
Deliveroo’s plant-based sales growth isn’t limited to the UK, with the platform recording similar trends in a number of its international markets too.
Over in Hong Kong, the company said in April that vegan and vegetarian orders had surged by 160% year-on-year. The number of food establishments now offering vegan dishes had also increased by triple-digits to make up around a fifth of the total Deliveroo Hong Kong partners.
In November 2020, Deliveroo said that Singapore and Spain saw double-digit growth in the volume of vegan orders, by 60% and 25% respectively.
Lead image courtesy of Quorn, all other images courtesy of Deliveroo UK.