• 48% of Brits say they could be influenced to be vegan
  • 21% will be cutting down on meat and 11% on dairy in the New Year

It’s that time of year when we all commit to giving up or taking on new challenges and many of these are related to our diet, health and wellbeing. In fact, almost half the UK population is feeling v-curious, with Co-op’s latest research revealing 48% saying they could be inspired to become vegan. Hundreds of thousands are also set to take part in the seventh Veganuary by adopting a plant-based diet for the month January.

Reducing meat consumption is a growing priority for a fifth of the country (21%), and beats typical New Year resolutions such as cutting back on the booze (20%) or carbohydrates (18%). So, it’s no surprise that January provides the perfect opportunity to try meat and dairy-free options, with 40% saying they want to eat more fruit and vegetables.

It’s a trend that’s been on the rise for some time. Exclusive research from the Co-op’s Ethical Consumerism report* reveals that the market has topped £1BN for the first time and has more than doubled in the last 20 years. The Co-op has also seen a 12 per cent growth in vegetarian product sales and a 14 per cent increase in non-dairy milk alternatives.

About 15% of us now identify as flexitarian- ie cutting back on meat and dairy but not committing fully. But, in reality, there may be many more. Three quarters of people (77%) have at least one meat-free day each week, with 43% saying this has risen in the last year. 

When asked why they could be interested in a plant-based diet, being more healthy (27%), protecting the environment (19%) and even preferring the food (8%) were the main reasons given.

But, people are still apprehensive about making the change. Some think it requires a lot more effort to make vegan meals from scratch (14%), others say their local restaurants (11%) and shops (13%) don’t provide enough choice.