A recent survey has shown that residents in the UK are pairing down on their meat intake during the coronavirus crisis, with one in five saying that they have reduced their consumption of meat recently. Conducted by The Vegan Society, 15 percent of respondents to the survey also said they had cut down on their dairy intake as well. Of this 15 percent, "41% did so due to their preferred product not being available on the supermarket shelves, while 43% chose to reduce their meat consumption out of concern for health, environmental or animal rights reasons."

More Consumers Give Plant-Based a Try

While this switch to alternatives is split nearly in half between people who are electively trying new products and those who are turning to them as their second choice, it offers a chance for consumers who wouldn't normally try plant-based alternatives to give them a go. The most popular products reduceitarians are switching to? Almond milk, with 42 percent making the switch from cow's milk, meat alternatives such as vegan sausages and burgers at 38 percent, soy milk at 36 percent, and pulses such as lentils and chickpeas at 34 percent.

It seems that making the switch has paid off because half of the consumers who have turned to alternatives say that they'll continue purchasing them, even after the COVID-19 lockdown has ended.

A Big Year for Plant-Based Products

Matt Turner, spokesperson for The Vegan Society gave his thoughts about consumers integrating more plant-based products into their diet, saying "After the unprecedented success of Veganuary and the swathes of new vegan products hitting the shelves in recent months, it’s no surprise that many consumers have made the switch to plant-based alternatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that be for convenience, cost, or concern for their own wellbeing, the environment and the rights of animals."

Turner continues, saying, "Many Brits are trying these alternatives for the first time and enjoying them so much that they intend on keeping them in their shopping basket when we return to normal times. They are purchasing items that they wouldn’t have given a second look a few months ago, but are now seeing these brilliant vegan alternatives as the new normal.”

Looking to make a change and reduce your meat and dairy consumption? Check out The Beet's product reviews of plant-based milks, cheeses and meat alternatives like burgers and "pork" to know the best products to buy.

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