Flexitarians are described as consumers who eat meat less frequently but don’t reject it entirely. This trend is changing consumer habits by affecting how much meat individuals consume.

Flexitarian trend 2019

According to research by Song reported in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, eating 10% more animal protein in your diet can lead to a 2% higher risk of death. Meat consumption has further been associated with a higher risk for obesity, according to research by Wang & Beydoun reported in the International Journal of Obesity.

As a result, more consumers are turning to the flexitarian diet which could lead to more vegan brands entering the market.

Although health is an important factor in why consumers are becoming more flexible with their diets it is not the only explanation. According to GlobalData’s Q4 2017 survey, 34% of consumers will consider eating vegan meat for health reasons, 25% for environmental reasons and 19% stated that it would be for ethical reasons.

Animal agriculture is said to be responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation industry combined, according to a United Nations report, while documentaries such as the BBC’s Planet Earth and the documentary film Cowspiracy are heightening awareness about the negative impact animal agriculture has on the planet.

According to GlobalData’s Q3 2018 survey, up to 76% of consumers stated that how ethical/environmentally-friendly/socially-responsible a product is will influence their food choice. It is likely that the number of flexitarians will rise and eventually this diet might become the most prevalent diet out there.

Therefore, as consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of the negative effects that meat can have on their health and on the environment brands will try to cash in on this. Brands appear to be recognising the rising number of flexitarians and have an opportunity to increase their market share among those consumers. The number of meat alternative products has already risen as supermarkets are launching new vegan ranges that will appeal to flexitarians. However, many more brands can be expected to soon follow and release their own ranges.