- Three in ten (31%) UK adults who didn’t previously keep to a vegan or vegetarian diet have reduced their consumption of animal products to try and cut costs
- Half of those who reduced their meat intake (49%) are finding that their diet is more expensive than if they were to eat animal products
With inflation reaching 10.1% last month, eight in 10 Brits (82%) are looking for ways to get more value and reduce the cost of their supermarket shop – but despite the attempt to cut costs through consuming less meat and dairy, half of those who reduced their meat intake (49%) are finding that their diet is more expensive than if they were to eat animal products.
Three in 10 (31%) UK adults who didn’t previously keep to a vegan or vegetarian diet have reduced their consumption of animal products to cut grocery costs, and a third (34%) say they’d consider it in the future. Half (47%) of those who reduced animal product consumption are replacing conventional meat products with plant-based meat alternatives on a regular basis.
For those who aren’t so keen on a plant-based diet, meat eaters would be most likely to consider reducing meat/fish/dairy consumption if supermarkets offer deals or price reductions (30%) or suggested recipes (20%), if friends or family switched to a vegan or vegetarian diet (14%), or if there were more plant-based or vegetarian options available (23%).
The most popular action consumers are likely to take to reduce their grocery shop is cutting down on luxuries or treats (58%), and a quarter (23%) of UK adults have changed the way they cook because of the cost-of-living crisis.
Looking To Supermarkets To Save Money – And The Planet
Looking at attitudes towards sustainability more generally, seven in 10 (69%) UK adults are worried about the current state of the environment, and three in 10 (29%) consider supermarkets responsible for encouraging changes to sustainable shopping behaviours.
However, while people are open to sustainable shopping, the most popular initiatives couple sustainability with cost savings. Nine in 10 (89%) UK adults are likely to purchase wonky or imperfect produce if discounted, whilst 72% would be interested in using a deposit return scheme – encouraging shoppers to return empty single use containers such as plastic bottles or cans in return for store credit.
People are more interested in these discount schemes than in using food waste apps or donating waste to food banks, with just over half (55%) of consumers saying they would consider doing this. Similarly, almost three fifths (57%) would consider using recipe bundles that use up all perishable ingredients.
Francesca Silve, Senior Researcher at Opinium commented: “Whether it’s ethical supply chains, sustainable power sources, cutting plastic use or reducing food waste, there is an ever-extending list of environmental issues that supermarkets are under pressure to tackle – and our research finds that almost a third of consumers hold supermarkets responsible for encouraging sustainable shopping behaviour, more so than the Government.
It’s positive to see that consumers are willing to do their bit too, but with a potential recession on the horizon and rising costs pushing many households into financial turmoil, it’s clear that effecting changes in consumer behaviour will require some cost incentive.
It has long been reported that plant-based lifestyles are an effective way of reducing environmental impact, with vegan and vegetarian products generally being associated with less greenhouse emissions and needing less agricultural land and water than animal products. Many consumers have looked to reducing their consumption of animal products as an environmental & wallet friendly lifestyle change. However, our research shows that there is work to be done in making the cost saving aspect of switching to plant-based alternatives a reality for consumers.”