Plant-Based Trend: Feed the Majority

Whilst eating a plant-based diet was pioneered by the vegan lifestyle, the benefits from a health, environmental and ethical perspective now attract a broader consumer base.

by Bella Ali-Khan | Plant-Based | 6 October 2021

Kantar estimates 92% of plant-based meals consumed in the UK in 2018 were eaten by non-vegans1, with millions of people identifying as ‘flexitarian’. 

For many, it’s all about moderating meat consumption, for either health reasons, or to be more environmentally conscious in their choices. Around the world, people are now reducing their meat intake as part of a broader, clean-living, health-focused lifestyle trend. Quorn states that over 80% of its sales come from consumers who are neither vegetarian, nor vegan2 – moving into the mainstream in a good way. 

So are we starting to move away from vegan terminology?  

The 2021 results of The Big Vegan Survey3 (UK respondents) proved that the using the term ‘plant-based’ to describe their diet is growing among consumers. But why do they identify as plant-based and not vegan? Of the respondents surveyed: 

When it comes to the personal benefits of a plant-based diet, over larger ethical triggers, the practical perks are a surprise for most. After completing (or attempting) Veganuary, research showed that cooking plant-based took a third of the time, compared to meat or fish-based meals4. Convenience? Tick. A study following this research showed that vegan meals were 40% cheaper5 than meat or fish equivalents. It’s a bit of a win-win: convenience, better for the pocket – and the planet.  

As more people choose ‘plant-based’, many brands are looking at their communications and shifting away from ‘vegan’ messages, to catch this broader audience with more diverse drivers. 

How big a net will you cast?  

To read about other trends influencing the success of the plant-based category, read our full report here.  


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5 – Kantar World Panel