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One in five Britons eat meat for every meal of the day, according to a new report

15 January 2021

Despite the rise of both vegetarianism and flexitarianism in recent years, for now at least it seems that most of us Brits are still a pack of carnivores.

Researchers polled the nation and discovered as many as 17 percent of Brits cannot remember the last time they ate a meal which was not meat based.

The study of over 3,000 Brits found that on average, meat-eating adults consume the following each week: two bacon sandwiches, two plates of pasta with meat sauce, one spaghetti bolognese, one meat fajita, one steak, two meat curries, one burger, one meat-based pie and one Full English breakfast.

A further 54 percent of people admit they eat meat for “almost every meal”, while just 20 percent actively try to incorporate plant-based dishes into their diet.

However, evidence from the poll suggests that, with a little help, both the times and our tastes might be changing. 60 percent of us are keen to reduce our meat consumption, with 51 percent of those wanting to do so to boost their health and 37 percent for environmental reasons.

This chimes with a broader movement towards more environmentally-minded choices: 86 percent of Brits said they’d like to do more to help the planet in their day-to-day lives, but only 36 percent of those polled were currently aware that cutting down on meat would help them do so.

Marco Bertacca, CEO of Quorn, said: ‘We’re at a pivotal moment for our planet. That’s why making it easy, tasty and healthy for everyone to reduce their meat consumption has never been so important.

Our research has shown quite how much appetite there is: a huge 86 percent of Brits want to do more, without necessarily realising the impact a reduction in meat consumption could have.

The saving in carbon emissions from swapping beef mince to Quorn Mince for just one meal of Spag Bol alone, is 3.26kg CO2 e.1 To put that into perspective, it’s the equivalent of boiling 217 kettles.2

Imagine if every one of the 27.8 million UK households pledged to swap beef mince to Quorn mince for just one meal every week for a whole year…”

That’s why we’re encouraging Brits up and down the land to join us in our mission to Help the Planet, One Bite at a Time. And for those that need a little bit of inspiration, on our website people can find hundreds of recipes to provide plenty of tasty meat-free meal ideas.’

Some barriers prevent us from cutting down on meat, according to the poll. 17 percent of those surveyed said they’d really miss the taste and juiciness of meat and a third (34 percent) claimed they love the taste of meat so much they’d never be able to resist it.

For 20 percent of us, the enticing smell of bacon would make giving up meat prove all too much, while a further 20 percent said they just didn’t know enough meat-free recipes to make it work.

14 percent said it would be too much hassle to avoid meat, and 7 percent of us are dating a committed meat-eater so feel we couldn't cut down ourselves.

And it would seem our love for a traditional roasted joint of meat on a Sunday has not diminished, with Brits religiously tucking into a beef, chicken, lamb or pork roast EVERY Sunday.

The study also found that a third (33 percent) of UK meat-eaters wish they were more sustainable in their lives, and a further 25 percent feel bad about the carbon emissions given off by their meat eating habits.

1Carbon Emissions Equivalent

2Calculations based on Quorn’s Sustainable Eats tool and equivalents based on boiling an average electric kettle; approximate carbon emission per one kettle 0.015kg CO2 see here

‘Helping the planet one bite at a time’ relates to products such as Quorn Mince, which are among the 60% of Quorn volume sold in the UK whose footprints have been certified 'Reducing CO2' by the Carbon Trust for the full lifecycle of the product. This not only means we know the carbon footprint of the product, but also that we have committed to reducing it over time.

Quorn Mince achieved 'Reducing CO2' certification by the Carbon Trust for the full life cycle of the product. Its farm-to-factory gate carbon footprint is 95% lower than typical beef mince. Quorn Pieces and Fillets achieved 'Reducing CO2' certification by the Carbon Trust for the full life cycle of the product. Its farm-to-factory gate carbon footprint is 75% lower than typical chicken. See for details.