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University researchers say plant-based food sales are increasing

11th Oct 2022 - 06:00
The UK’s craving for meat has not been affected by campaigns for plant-based alternatives, according to new research by the University of Surrey.

The study looked at UK supermarket sales during the 'Veganuary' period and found that while the average weekly sales of plant-based foods increased by 57%, there was no reciprocal reduction in meat sales.

Joanna Trewern, lead author of the study from the University of Surrey, said: "Our study suggests that while retail-led campaigns are driving increased sales of plant-based, we are not yet seeing meat replacement at scale, which is key to drive progress toward healthy, sustainable diets. Retailers have an important role to play in enabling the adoption of healthier, more sustainable consumer diets. It’s great to see them taking action, but more is needed to reduce our reliance on meat and dairy.

"For there to be any chance of meeting UK climate change targets, Government, food companies, civil society, scientists, and health professionals need to work together urgently to implement action plans and policies that can deliver swift and sustained change." 

The National Food Strategy recommended a minimum 30% reduction in meat consumption to support the nation to reach net zero by 2050 in line with Government climate commitments.  

Written by
Edward Waddell