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STUDY: Consumers care more about consuming animal products post pandemic

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The two surveys on changing consumer habits over the last 12 months, discovered 1 in 5 people reduced the amount of meat they are eating, and 12% have cut down on their eggs and dairy.

FRANCINE JORDAN: For all the disruption and devastation Covid-19 has brought, for some it has granted more time to consider their lasting legacy on the planet. It could provide some positives for the environment in the long run. New research from The Vegan Society has found a huge number of people in the UK have reduced the amount of animal products they consume since the pandemic first hit our shores more than a year ago.

The two surveys, focused on changing consumer habits over the last 12 months, discovered one in five people have reduced the amount of meat they are eating, and twelve percent say they have cut down on their eggs and dairy intake. Encouragingly, seven percent revealed they have reduced all three. Overall, this means that one in four have actively cut back on some form of animal products since the UK first went into lockdown in March 2020.

The motivation behind these decisions is also quite telling, with twenty-one percent saying they were motivated by animal rights issues, thirty percent citing it was down to the environment with health concerns (35 percent) topping the poll. Other motivations included animal products being too expensive (eight percent) or not being available in shops (five percent).

The latest findings mirror the results of a similar survey conducted by The Vegan Society last year. It discovered that one in five people in the UK had cut down on meat consumption while fifteen percent had reduced their dairy and egg intake.

Of those who had reduced the amount of animal products they’re eating, forty-three percent did so out of concern for health, environmental or animal rights reasons while forty-one percent did so due to their preferred product not being available on the supermarket shelves.

That is thirty-six percent higher than the findings from the most recent survey, although the initial data was released at a time when supermarkets revealed certain products were under pressure from panic-buying shoppers.

For those who have minimised the amount of animal products they’re consuming, what are they buying instead? Well, over half of survey respondents revealed they bought meat alternatives for the first-time during lockdown with an impressive seventy-eight percent saying they will buy them again in future.

Plant-based milks also proved popular with thirty-six percent of respondents trying oat milk for the first time and of those sixty-seven percent saying they’ll purchase it again post-lockdown…

Veganism has long been associated with concerns over the treatment of animals, so it is encouraging, yet not surprising, to see that rank highly in both the 2020 and 2021 surveys… However, perhaps the most inspiring finding is that so many have been motivated to change what they are eating purely for environment reasons. SOURCE…

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