A recent study from Smart Protein reveals almost 50% of Europeans have cut their meat consumption.
The survey backed by ProVeg International sought to discover European attitudes toward plant-based foods with a focus on flexitarians.
More than 7,500 people in 10 European countries were involved in the survey which launched in June 2021.
Moreover, the results reveal a major shift towards plant-based eating habits.
Plant-based eating in Europe
Smart Protein’s survey used participants from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK.
In the study, plant-based eaters represented 7% of participants, while 30% followed a flexitarian diet.
Additionally, just under 40% of Europeans intended on eating less meat.
While 46% revealed that they had minimised their meat consumption, and 30% planned on reducing their dairy intake.
Furthermore, participants also revealed they’d like to see more plant-based fish in supermarkets, particularly tuna and salmon.
The importance of discount supermarkets
Interestingly, nearly half of the flexitarian respondents believed there was not enough plant-based choice in the supermarkets and 50% found the products too expensive.
43% of consumers said they would purchase their food most frequently from discount stores such as Aldi.
There is a clear call for discount supermarkets to stock more nutritional plant-based produce.
Not only will this allow people to have more choice, but it also makes plant-based eating more accessible for everyone.
Responding to these findings, Christoph Georgius from Aldi Nord: “The survey underlines one of the key trends of our time and confirms us in defining plant-based foods as a relevant topic for ALDI Nord.
“Our aim is to make plant-based food easily available and affordable for everyone.”
“Tremendous potential for plant-based foods”
In a statement, Jasmijn De Boo, Vice President of ProVeg International, commented: “The survey suggests tremendous potential for plant-based foods in Europe and gives a green light to all relevant players in the field to develop more and better products.
“Consumer demand for alternative proteins is growing at a remarkable rate, with no end in sight.”
It is so encouraging to see Europeans introduce plant-based products into their eating habits. We hope supermarkets listen to the demand for more affordable plant-based products.
Want to kick-start your plant-based journey?
Try our oh-so-simple seven-day vegan meal plan