Vegetarian is a very common term nowadays, with everyone knowing it is someone who does not eat meat. Vegetarianism has been on the rise in recent years with 12% of UK consumers now following a meat-free diet and younger consumers driving the trend.
Although many UK consumers want more plant-based foods in their diet, vegetarianism is too big a leap for some, but they are still open to reducing meat consumption overall. In fact, 25% of people plan to reduce their meat consumption in the next 12 months.
‘Twenty years ago, vegetarianism was scoffed at,’ says Charles Banks, director of food trends agency The Food People. ‘But of late, there has been a seismic shift in attitudes towards celebrating vegetables and opting to eat less meat.’
The Independent reported that Flexitarianism was one of the biggest food trends of 2017 and it continues to grow. Flexitarianism is a lifestyle choice, and so covers a number of different preferences. For most flexitarians it means cutting down the amount of meat they eat so they’re only having it once or twice a week, though some are more 50/50. Others are vegetarian most of the time, but may choose a meat dish when eating out.
Although the term hasn’t been used much until now, the Flexitarianism way of life has been boosted by a number of campaigns over the years. These include the Meat-Free Monday campaign that was started by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009. Also World Meat Free Day and Meat Free May (the latter launched by Friends of the Earth) as ways of raising awareness about excessive meat consumption but also helping people think about other ways to eat.
Compared to vegetarians, flexitarians have very different reasons for eating meat-free products. For a lot of vegetarians, not eating meat is a matter of ethics. While this is also a consideration for flexitarians, they are mainly motivated by general health concerns around eating too much meat and vegetables being a healthier choice. They are also more likely to want something that looks and tastes like meat so that it is not too big a compromise.
The move towards a more plant-based diet is only going to continue and one of Nestlé’s strategic priorities is to expand its vegetarian and flexitarian choices as it believes that increasing nutritious plant-based options can have positive impacts for consumers and for the planet. In the first half of 2018, Nestlé introduced a new food brand to the UK, offering delicious and healthy meat-free products for food lovers looking to cut down on meat but not wanting to compromise on taste.
Garden Gourmet offers an exciting variety of scrumptious meat alternatives made with the highest quality ingredients because meat free does not have to mean excitement free. Although a new name in the UK, Garden Gourmet arrives with thirty years of brand heritage across Europe.
Nestlé’s chefs and nutritionists have worked together using ingredients we all know and love to develop a range of 12 delicious plant-based products, ranging from meat-free burgers, mince and chicken style pieces to exciting veggie flavours, including quinoa and broccoli bakes and bright beetroot falafel.
Sophie Demoulin, Marketing Manager, says Garden Gourmet has the opportunity to attract new, loyal consumers within this growing category.
“Not only are consumers looking at more meat-free options, they also want simplicity in the use of ingredients. They want to identify with what they read as ingredients they have in their cupboard. Garden Gourmet matches these two elements really well to present a range of 12 recipes with more in development.”