Extra Aussies are leaning in direction of meat and dairy free options

Meat consumption is declining, only one in five Australians eats meat every day.

This emerges from a new study by Toluna, which surveyed 1,026 Australians between July 27 and 30, 2021.

Of those who ate meat, a quarter had made efforts to reduce their meat consumption, and another 19% plan to reduce their meat consumption in the future.

Almost half (42%) of the meat eaters surveyed aim for 1 to 2 meat-free days per week, 24% meat-free 3 to 4 days per week, while 7.5% do not consume meat 5 to 6 days per week.

Only 20% of the respondents eat meat every day.

Health concerns were the main drivers behind the reduction in meat consumption (65%), with high meat costs (40%) and environmental concerns (30%) cited as further determining factors. Only 12% of those who have reduced or plan to cut meat consumption made this decision on moral grounds.

Herbal alternatives

A quarter of respondents said they had tried plant-based meat alternatives, with the majority (66%) saying that they will continue to buy them in the future and that plant-based meat is a healthy alternative (70%).

For those who would no longer eat meat alternatives, it was mainly because they felt that the plant-based alternative did not taste good (52%).

Alternative drinks are also proving to be popular: almost half of those surveyed have bought almond milk (42%) and soy milk (40%). This was followed by coconut milk (35%), lactose-free milk (24%) and oat milk (21%).

“Our research shows that health concerns weigh heavily on Australians, with health being the single most important factor in most of our dietary choices that ultimately determine our purchasing decisions,” said Sej Patel, Country Director at Toluna Australia & NZ.

“Even if only very few Australians follow a vegan diet at the moment, surprisingly many are actively reducing their meat consumption and are instead looking for plant-based alternatives.

"Retailers and brands can benefit from this trend by ensuring that they are clearly communicating the health benefits of their products to consumers."

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