There has been a global shift away from meat, with 70% of the world population reportedly either reducing meat consumption or leaving meat off the table altogether, reports GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Fiona Dyer, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The shift toward plant-based foods is being driven by millennials, who are most likely to consider the food source, animal welfare issues, and environmental impacts when making their purchasing decisions.”
One company that is confident this is set to become a lasting trend is Bol Foods, who announced their re-launch as a meat-free company in early 2017. Its range is now comprised of plant-based protein superfoods, which it says are good for the consumer’s own health and also help look after the health of the planet.
More established meat-free companies are also reaping the benefits from the rise of flexitarianism. In 2017 the growth of partially meat-free diets was attributed as the main reason for sales growth at UK-based food group, Quorn Foods. The company, which makes foods such as burgers and sausages out of fungus, reported a 19% rise in sales in the first half of 2017. They are confident that the younger generation are fuelling this trend and that it represents a genuine long-term move towards a healthier and more sustainable relationship with food.
With consumers being increasingly concerned that meat damages the environment, Meat & Livestock Australia has asserted its belief that Australia’s red meat processors could become carbon neutral by 2030. The body claims that it reduced its share of Australia’s total emissions from 20% in 2005 to 13% by 2015 and will continue this trend through measures such as the expanded use of legumes and dung beetles in pastures, genetic selection and potentially a vaccine which could reduce methane production in the rumen.
Dyer adds: “Whilst its efforts are not wholly altruistic or driven by a desire to save the planet – the potential for exporting its beef would grow exponentially if the carbon neutral goal was achieved – it may nonetheless prove to be a turning point.”