Are we starting to eat meat differently?

Are we starting to eat meat differently?

On 20 Aug 2020 by Cristina Covello

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Here at Fooditude, we’ve been wondering about how people’s experiences during the pandemic have changed their relationship to food. As a catering company that aims to boost employee’s mood with food, it’s our job to keep up-to-date with food tastes.

One food trend that has caught our eye is that people are starting to want ‘less but better’ meat in their lives. So we asked our audience on LinkedIn what they’ve been eating since lockdown, and the results were:

  • 54% of people are eating the same amount of meat

  • 31% of people are eating more meat

  • 15% of people are eating less meat.

We’d love to say that poll satisfied our curiosity – however our pool of respondents, as much as we value their feedback, were not numerous enough to get a true indication of the bigger picture in the UK. So we’ve done a little digging, and here’s what we discovered:

Tofu sales are booming
In the 12 weeks preceding June this year, tofu sales have rocketed by 87.1% – with other meat-free alternatives on the rise too, according to Vegan Food and Living. Whether for health reasons, animal welfare or for the environment – meat-free alternatives are looking to play a much more central role on our plates in a post-lockdown world.

People are avoiding processed meats
A report from the market-intelligence wizards at Mintel found that 41% of Brit’s are limiting the amount of processed meat they consume because of health concerns during the pandemic. For just under half of us, it’s not a matter of taking meat off the menu entirely – we just want to eat more healthily.

We’ve been eating more high-quality meats
Gwyn Howells, from Meat Promotion Wales, states that “We’ve seen great support from UK consumers. Many have come back to buying products such as lamb chops and beef steaks, recognising them as high-quality trusted foods.” As pointed out by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board – home cooking during lockdown has rekindled people’s love of cooking meat, often from scratch!

Vegetarianism and veganism is on the rise – with veganism set to double in 2020. Despite this, many of us will continue to enjoy meat as a regular part of our diet – but in a more flexible way. Simply put, the future of meat eating is more diverse. Meat eaters won’t shy away from tucking into a meat-free meal – but will still want to enjoy a hearty meat dish from time to time.

As Fooditude launches its Fuel by Fooditude food service for a pandemic world, we are working hard to provide our customers with non-meat meal options that are as tempting as the meat options. When it comes to sourcing meat, we favour local suppliers to reduce food miles and go for organic where we can. We’re also taking part in a EU funded study in collaboration with Greenapes, The SRA and the Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition – that aims to make sustainable diet choices easier for people to make. The study is not about cutting meat out entirely, but it is about choosing ingredients that are less resource intensive. We believe in a healthier relationship with meat, that’s healthier for us and the planet, but also better for animal welfare too.


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