Almost half of meat-eating Brits are ‘pleasantly surprised’ by plant-based alternatives

Almost half of meat-eating Brits admit to being “pleasantly surprised” by the taste of plant-based food. Research of 2,000 adults who eat meat found 46 per cent have previously turned their nose up at “different” foods – only to be surprised by the flavor when they actually try them.

Nearly half (48 per cent) confessed they wouldn’t generally consider a meal to be “complete” unless it contained meat, while 38 per cent were doubtful about eating plant-based alternatives altogether. However, of those who were pleasantly surprised by meat substitutes, meat-free sausages, plant-based mince, and beef-style burgers were considered the tastiest.

And others admitted to enjoying dairy-free ice cream and chocolate, chicken-style nuggets, and meat-free sausage rolls. Researchers at The No Meat Company, which commissioned the study, put three devout meat eaters to the test to see if they enjoyed the taste of plant-based alternatives when trying them for the first time.

The video shows participants’ shock when tucking into meat-free sausages, sausage rolls, and chicken-style wraps.



Meat-free sausages were voted as the most pleasantly surprising alternative foods
Meat-free sausages were voted as the most pleasantly surprising alternative foods

Neville Tam, from the brand, said: “There are sometimes preconceptions around plant-based foods, but our study shows that even the biggest meat fans can be pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture of meat alternatives“ With so many great options now available on the market, it’s easier than ever before to include plant-based alternatives in your everyday food shop.

“Meat-free meal choices can be kinder to the planet, and in many cases better for you too.”

The study also found over a third of meat eaters (36 per cent) automatically assume they won’t like a meal unless it contains either meat, fish, or dairy produce. And seven in ten are “convinced” they could tell the difference between a plant-based or vegetarian sausage, and a meat one.

Of those who aren’t persuaded by the alternatives on the market, 36 per cent say savory is the hardest to get right. But 38 per cent think all foods are difficult to replicate, regardless of whether they are sweet or otherwise.

However, despite the scepticism, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of those polled, via OnePoll, recognize that eating plant-based foods is important for helping the environment. When it comes to eating less meat, the top motivator was it being a healthier choice (31 per cent), followed by the environmental impact (28 per cent) and animal welfare (22 per cent).

A savvy 22 per cent thought plant-based eating would be more cost-effective, while 21 per cent believe the taste was just as good as meat. And three in ten already consider themselves to be flexitarian – reducing their intake of animal products, but not ruling them out entirely.



The most popular plant-based evening meals include stir-fry, soups and salads
The most popular plant-based evening meals include stir-fry, soups and salads

A further one in five (19 per cent) are thinking about this route for the future, and the average respondent already has a meat-free meal twice a week. Of these, the most popular plant-based evening meals include salads (31 per cent), stir fry dishes (26 per cent), and soups (25 per cent).

Meanwhile 24 per cent will opt for a pizza with vegan or veggie toppings, and 19 per cent will make a vegetarian chilli. But one in three of those polled admit they don’t yet eat more plant-based or vegetarian food – due to liking meat too much.

Three in ten enjoy dairy, and 24 per cent still have reservations about the texture and flavor of meat substitutes. Neville Tam added: “The research highlights there is still a way to go in changing people’s perception of meat-free food – but when people do make simple swaps to their everyday meals, they are often pleasantly surprised.

“Switching out meat for plant-based, even once or twice a week, can make a huge difference, with small steps towards a lifestyle that is better for the planet and for your health.”

MEAT-FREE FOODS ADULTS ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED BY:

  1. Meat-free sausage
  2. Plant-based coins
  3. Beef-style burger
  4. Dairy-free ice cream
  5. Dairy-free chocolate
  6. Chicken-style nuggets
  7. Chicken-style burger
  8. Meat-free sausage roll
  9. Chicken-style strips
  10. Plant-based pizza
  11. Meat-free meatballs
  12. Plant-based kiev
  13. Dairy-free cheese
  14. Plant-based kebab meat
  15. Plant-based savory pastries
  16. Plant-based bacon
  17. Chicken-style fillet
  18. Plant-based eggs
  19. Plant-based sweet pastries
  20. Plant-based pie

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