What you need to know

The meat-free movement has continued to go from strength to strength since 2016 when the market began to revive. 2018 saw the fastest rate of annual growth, with volume and value sales rising 9% and 15% respectively. Sales in 2019 are estimated to reach £816 million and 136 million kg, although the year-on-year growth is slower than in 2017 and 2018.

This growth has been primarily driven by the popularity of the flexitarian trend, which is driven by health and environmental concerns and ethical considerations surrounding animal welfare. However, meat continues to play a hugely significant role in the British diet, with 88% of adults eating red meat or poultry.

Due to a wealth of new product development, an increase in advertising spend on meat-free foods in 2018 and the influence of high-profile campaigns such as Veganuary, usage of meat-free foods is becoming more ingrained for many consumers, most notably, 16-34 year olds and parents of under-16s.

Following the surge in growth that the sector experienced over 2017 and 2018, the rate of growth is set to slow, with value sales anticipated to reach £1,120 million by 2024.

Products covered in this Report

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

This Report covers the retail market for meat-free foods or vegetarian foods for in-home consumption.

The market size includes meat substitutes, or dishes made using meat substitutes, including ready meals, sausages, burgers, shaped products, deli ingredients (eg vegetarian mince), pastry products and snacks.

Meat substitutes are products often made from textured vegetable protein, such as soy, that imitate the texture, flavour and appearance of certain types of meat, such as beef, poultry or fish. This includes products such as mycoprotein-based Quorn. However, they can also be made with plant-based ingredients which do not try to imitate meat, such as vegetable or bean burgers.

Although mainstream dishes suitable for vegetarians such as vegetarian soups are referenced in the Report, the market size does not include these.

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