Concern on wellbeing and environment is having a huge influence on the way Britons shop and eat today, suggests the Food and Drink report from Waitrose which found a third of the population (33.5%) having meat-free or meat-reduced diets.
This included one in eight Brits (13%) now identifying as vegan or vegetarian, and a further 21% as flexitarian, the report added.
“Being mindful of how we live and eat has become a priority in today’s world. As we become increasingly mindful of our own health, the wellbeing of our family and that of the planet, we’re reshaping how we shop, cook and eat,” commented Rob Collins, managing director of Waitrose & Partners.
The sixth annual report from the retailer also identified an attitudinal change with an increasingly pragmatic approach and many dipping in and out. Half of all those who say they are vegan or vegetarian eat meat ‘at weekends’, ‘occasionally’ or ‘on special occasions’.
Nearly nine in 10 people (88%) who saw that episode of BBC’s Blue Planet II about the effet of plastics on our oceans said they have changed their behaviour since. Sixty percent of Britons now choose a refillable water bottle and coffee cup more than they did.
The report found the faster pace of life as a reason for the behavioural shift towards life and food. Nearly 70 percent feel the pressures of modern life have increased in the last five years. Close to half work longer hours and four in 10 regularly check work emails in personal time.
Moving towards lighter, healthier food in the evening, staying hydrated and taking care of ourselves the best we can form part of the coping mechanism, respondents told the survey.