A quarter of Brits want to make lunch vegan, consuming less meat since Covid-19

One in four employed Brits want to make their lunches more vegan or vegetarian, having consumed less meat since the Covid-19 outbreak, as per a new survey.

A quarter of the UK’s working population would want to eat more vegan or vegetarian food at lunchtime, with 24% eating less meat since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

The new survey commissioned by plant-based meat brand Squeaky Bean covered 2,000 employed UK adults. Within London, 40% of respondents wanted to go meatless during their lunch breaks, while 42% have reduced their meat consumption since the pandemic.

More than a tenth (11%) of respondents across the UK said all of their lunches were either vegan or vegetarian already. But on the flip side, 23% said they would rather skip lunch than eat a meal without meat, eggs or dairy. This was in line with the finding that 32% of Brits admitted that they “just really love meat” as the reason for not trying a vegan or vegetarian lunch. Other reasons included taste (21%), cost (19%) and nutritional concerns (15%).

The growing interest in vegan food comes after the UK saw a 112% increase in the number of people having lunch at home since the Covid-19 outbreak. But the number of Brits choosing to eat lunch at a cafe or restaurant has remained stable at 4%.

Lunch hours are becoming a thing of the past, and quick and easy meals are at the forefront now. This is why 65% of survey respondents said they typically eat sandwiches and wraps for lunch. Salads (32%), soups (24%) and pasta (19%) rounded up the other major foods popular for lunch.

Sarah Augustine, Squeaky Bean’s co-creator, said: “Our survey reveals that the nation’s lunchtimes are jam-packed. Whether it’s trying to remain at our desks, dashing out for some exercise or hopping back into bed, there’s no shortage of pressures on our well-earned breaks.

She added: “This is why we’re putting the focus back on tasty food and encouraging the nation to make their lunchtime ‘Plant Hour’. Let’s all take a moment and give our midday meal a plant-based glow up with some delicious meat-free food.”

Read our interview with Sarah Augustine.

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