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

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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.

Anay Mridul
Anay Mridul
Anay is journalism graduate from City, University of London, he was a barista for three years, and never shuts up about coffee. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford Comma. Originally from India, he went vegan in 2020, after attempting (and failing) Veganuary. He believes being environmentally conscious is a basic responsibility, and veganism is the best thing you can do to battle climate change. He gets lost at Whole Foods sometimes.