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UK Meat-free Foods market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Meat-free Foods market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Emma Clifford, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Meat-free brands should be more vocal about exactly why they are a good choice in terms of animal ethics and the environment, as well as emphasising their nutritional credentials. These messages can make consumers feel holistically virtuous in their choice, helping to build a feel-good factor. Emma Clifford
Associate Director - Food & Drink

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This report discusses the following key topics:

Products covered in this Report

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

This Report covers the retail market for meat-free foods or vegetarian foods for in-home consumption.

The market size includes meat substitutes, or dishes made using meat substitutes, including ready meals, sausages, burgers, shaped products, deli, ingredients (eg vegetarian mince), pastry products and snacks.

Meat substitutes are products often made from textured vegetable protein such as soy that imitate the texture, flavour and appearance of certain types of meat, such as beef, poultry or fish. This includes products like mycoprotein-based Quorn. However, they can also be made within plant-based ingredients which do not try to imitate meat, such as vegetable or bean burgers.

Although mainstream dishes suitable for vegetarians such as vegetarian soups are referenced in the Report, the market size does not include these.

What you get

What's included

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this report
        • Excluded
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Free-from sales growth has been supported by new users
                • Further investment on the cards
                  • Figure 1: Value retail sales of free-from foods in the UK, 2010-20
                • Gluten-free market enjoys a virtuous circle
                  • Free-from diets continue to attract media attention
                    • NHS limits gluten-free prescriptions
                      • Lack of growth of 16-34s limits support to sales
                        • Companies, brands and innovation
                          • Alpro is the leading brand in the free-from market
                            • Genius takes top position in gluten-free
                              • Figure 2: Leading brands’ shares in the UK retail free-from foods market, by value, 2014/15*
                            • Market attracts mainstream players
                              • Adspend continues to rise
                                • Low/no/reduced allergen claims leapt ahead in 2014
                                  • The consumer
                                    • Two in five have a household member avoiding particular ingredients
                                      • One in three people buy or eat free-from
                                        • Feelgood image drives free-from uptake
                                          • Figure 3: Reasons for eating free-from foods, September 2015
                                        • Price remains a key barrier
                                          • Figure 4: Non-users’ attitudes towards free-from foods, September 2015
                                        • Scope to encourage free-from users to trade up
                                          • Figure 5: Users' attitudes towards free-from foods, September 2015
                                        • What we think
                                        • Issues and Insights

                                          • Importance of health credentials
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Price remains a key barrier
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • Scope to encourage free-from users to trade up
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                            • New users support growth in the free-from market
                                                              • Further investment on the cards
                                                                • Gluten-free market enjoys a virtuous circle
                                                                  • Free-from diets continue to attract media attention
                                                                    • NHS limits gluten-free prescriptions
                                                                      • Lack of growth of 16-34s limits support to sales
                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                        • Free-from sales grow helped by new users
                                                                          • Figure 6: Value retail sales of free-from foods in the UK, 2010-20
                                                                        • Further investment on the cards
                                                                            • Figure 7: Value retail sales of free-from foods in the UK, 2010-20
                                                                        • Segment Performance

                                                                          • Gluten-free market enjoys a virtuous circle
                                                                            • Dairy-free in rude health
                                                                              • Figure 8: UK retail value sales of free-from food and drink, by segment, 2013-15
                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                            • Free-from diets continue to attract media attention
                                                                              • NHS limits gluten-free prescriptions
                                                                                • Long-term rise in people with food allergies
                                                                                  • Lack of growth of 16-34s limits support to sales
                                                                                    • Figure 9: Recent and projected trends in population growth, by age, 2010-15 and 2015-20
                                                                                  • Growing availability of free-from products supports growth
                                                                                    • Big food producers entering the market
                                                                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                                      • Alpro extends its lead in the market
                                                                                        • Genius takes top position in gluten-free
                                                                                          • Recent entrants enjoy rapid growth
                                                                                            • Adspend continues to rise
                                                                                              • L/N/R allergen claims leapt ahead in 2014
                                                                                                • Health claims remain rare
                                                                                                • Market Share

                                                                                                  • Alpro retains an unassailable lead
                                                                                                    • Figure 10: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK retail free-from foods market, by value, 2013/14 and 2014/15
                                                                                                  • Genius takes top position in gluten-free
                                                                                                    • Mainstream brands enter the free-from market…
                                                                                                      • …and recent entrants have enjoyed strong growth
                                                                                                        • Acquisitions continue in the market
                                                                                                        • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                          • Advertising spending on free-from foods continues to grow
                                                                                                            • Figure 11: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on free-from foods, by top advertisers, 2011-15
                                                                                                          • Alpro remains top advertiser
                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on free-from foods, by top 10 brands, 2014
                                                                                                          • Big boys entering gluten-free market
                                                                                                            • Small producers rely on other marketing
                                                                                                              • NMR methodology
                                                                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                • L/N/R allergen claims leap ahead in food in 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 13: L/N/R allergen, lactose and gluten-free claims of all new food product launches, 2011-15
                                                                                                                • M&S and Asda extend ranges
                                                                                                                  • Figure 14: New food product launches with L/N/R allergen claims, by top 10 brands, 2011-15
                                                                                                                • L/N/R allergen claims are most prominent in baby food
                                                                                                                    • Figure 15: L/N/R allergen claims’ share of new food product launches, by category, 2011-15
                                                                                                                  • Health claims remain rare
                                                                                                                      • Figure 16: New food product launches with L/N/R allergen claims, by top claims, 2011-15
                                                                                                                    • Premium positioning still niche
                                                                                                                      • Jump in L/N/R allergen claims in drinks in 2014
                                                                                                                        • Figure 17: L/N/R allergen, lactose- and gluten-free claims of all new drink product launches, 2011-15
                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: New drink product launches with L/N/R allergen claims, by category, 2011-15
                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: New drink product launches with gluten-free claims, by category, 2011-15
                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                      • Two in five households avoid a food
                                                                                                                        • Many buy free-from products without a food avoidance
                                                                                                                          • Many on an exclusion diet don’t buy free-from
                                                                                                                            • Feelgood image drives free-from uptake
                                                                                                                              • Price remains a key barrier
                                                                                                                                • Evidence of cynicism among non-users
                                                                                                                                  • Scope to encourage free-from users to trade up
                                                                                                                                    • Product recalls are a turn-off
                                                                                                                                      • The importance of health credentials
                                                                                                                                      • Avoidance of Foods/Ingredients

                                                                                                                                        • Two in five report food avoidance
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Types of food/ingredients avoided, September 2015
                                                                                                                                        • Lactose/dairy and gluten/wheat are avoided the most
                                                                                                                                        • Types of Free-from Foods Eaten and Bought

                                                                                                                                          • One in three eat or buy free-from
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Types of free-from foods bought and eaten, September 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Many people buy gluten-free with no gluten avoidance…
                                                                                                                                            • …and the same is true of dairy substitutes
                                                                                                                                              • Many food avoiders do not buy substitutes
                                                                                                                                                • Key free-from customers – young, affluent Londoners
                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for Eating Free-from Foods

                                                                                                                                                  • Feelgood image drives free-from uptake
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Reasons for eating free-from foods, September 2015
                                                                                                                                                  • Scope to position dairy alternatives as offering variety
                                                                                                                                                  • Non-users’ Attitudes towards Free-from Foods

                                                                                                                                                    • Price remains a key barrier
                                                                                                                                                      • Few non-users see free-from as benefiting non-sufferers
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Non-users’ attitudes towards free-from foods, September 2015
                                                                                                                                                      • Few non-users doubt free-from products’ taste
                                                                                                                                                        • In-store visibility does little to drive interest
                                                                                                                                                        • Users’ Attitudes towards Free-from Foods

                                                                                                                                                          • Scope to encourage free-from users to trade up
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Users' attitudes towards free-from foods, September 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • The effect of product recalls
                                                                                                                                                            • High trust in regulatory checks
                                                                                                                                                              • The importance of health credentials
                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Best- and worst-case forecast, value retail sales of free-from foods, 2015-20