Is the future of food Flexitarian?

Trend-Monitor-Flexitarianism

With vegetarianism and veganism becoming more mainstream, a new study by YouGov has endeavoured to track people’s eating habits, and ascertain whether we’re all on a path to give up meat products altogether.

It asks, is flexitarianism (a diet consisting of largely plant-based food with occasional meat additions) actually just a temporary stepping stone on the journey to adopting a meat-free diet?

Is flexitarianism (a diet consisting of largely plant-based food with occasional meat additions) actually just a temporary stepping stone on the journey to adopting a meat-free diet? #futurefoodtrends Click To Tweet

The study found that 73% of Brits are meat eaters, 14% are flexitarian, 3% are pescatarian, 3% are vegetarian, and 1% are vegan. Further analysis found that women were more likely to be flexitarian than men, and Londoners are most likely to say that they are flexitarian or vegan than people from other parts of the UK.

With flexitarianism being viewed as something of a halfway house between being a meat eater or a vegetarian, the study sought to clarify whether this is in fact the case.

The research showed that more than two thirds of flexitarians are actively trying to cut down on meat, and that 15% of women and 11% of men aged between 18 and 24 are meat eaters and flexitarians who intend to give up meat in the future. Of this group, 10% are full-time students and 22% are working part time. When asked to name their main concern about eating meat, 42% said that animal welfare came top of their list, and across the board this group tended to be more concerned with ethical and moral values than the general population.

So why does this matter?

For businesses interested in reaching this group of young people, it seems that they have strong beliefs when it comes to brands and social issues. When asked whether they like to know where their products are manufactured, 65% (vs 46% nat rep) said they did and 53% (vs 27%) said that they only buy products from companies they believe have values they agree with.

In addition, 61% (vs 42%) said they will stop buying products from a brand that holds a view they disagree with, 50% (vs 44%) said that they are more likely to buy products from a brand that expresses a view they agree with in an ad, and 52% (vs 35%) said they like brands that are willing to get involved in societal issues.

The research also found that this group stands out from the general population when it comes to their media habits and as much as 52% use Instagram for a variety of different reasons. This is mainly for fun, with 22% preferring to watch entertaining content, however, 20% of them use the platform to keep up to date with brands that they like, and 19% are following interesting people and industry experts.

This snapshot offers valuable insight when it comes to maximising promotional material about brands and their products, and which avenues to choose to generate as much traction as possible. It also provides a pointer when it comes to what type of content works best – keeping things fun and informative seem to be key.

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