Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

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
  • 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

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Figure 1: UK retail value sales of meat-free foods, 2011-21
          • The perceived dangers of eating too much meat
            • Plant proteins seen in a positive light
              • Sainsbury’s looks to boost vegetable consumption through store redesigns
                • Companies and brands
                  • Own-label dominates meat-free, but is in decline
                    • Quorn leads the brands
                      • Cauldron goes from strength to strength
                        • Linda McCartney is the star performer in frozen meat-free foods
                          • A big NPD push from brands pays dividends
                            • More emphasis is placed on protein in meat-free
                              • Flexitarian launches bring the best of both worlds to meat
                                • Adspend on meat-free doubles over 2012-16
                                  • The consumer
                                    • Despite Britain still being a nation of meat eaters, 28% of people have cut back
                                      • Figure 2: Consumers’ meat eating habits, by gender, March 2017
                                    • A diversity of reasons for cutting back, but health is top
                                      • The environmental message is getting through to under-25s
                                        • Figure 3: Reasons why consumers have/would be interested in limiting/reducing the amount of red meat/poultry they eat and reasons for meat avoidance, March 2017
                                      • Low frequency of usage of meat-free foods
                                        • Notably higher usage among meat avoiders and reducers
                                          • Figure 4: Frequency of usage of meat-free foods, March 2017
                                        • Meat is held in high regard for its nutritional content
                                          • Concerns linger over ingredients in meat substitutes
                                            • The younger generation are hungry for more recipe suggestions
                                              • Figure 5: Attitudes towards meat-free foods, March 2017
                                            • Meat substitutes are marred with a bland image
                                              • Figure 6: Qualities associated with meat-free foods, March 2017
                                              • Figure 7: Further qualities associated with meat-free foods, March 2017
                                            • What we think
                                            • Issues and Insights

                                              • Being more vocal about the ethical and environmental benefits of meat-free foods can tap into feel-good eating
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • A need for meat substitutes to prove their nutritional worth
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                          • Making recipe inspiration more visible can encourage experimentation
                                                            • The facts
                                                              • The implications
                                                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Meat-free food sales in decline over 2013-15
                                                                  • The market turns a corner in 2016
                                                                    • Chilled dominates, but only frozen enjoyed growth in 2016
                                                                      • The perceived dangers of eating too much meat
                                                                        • Plant proteins seen in a positive light
                                                                          • Sainsbury’s looks to boost vegetable consumption through store redesigns
                                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                            • Meat-free food sales in decline over 2013-15
                                                                              • The market turns a corner in 2016
                                                                                  • Figure 8: UK retail volume and value sales of meat-free foods, 2011-21
                                                                                • The future
                                                                                  • Figure 9: UK retail value sales of meat-free foods, 2011-21
                                                                                  • Figure 10: UK retail volume sales of meat-free foods, 2011-21
                                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                                • Market Segmentation

                                                                                  • Chilled dominates meat-free…
                                                                                    • …but only frozen enjoyed growth in 2016
                                                                                      • Figure 11: UK retail value and volume sales of meat-free foods, by segment, 2011-16
                                                                                      • Figure 12: UK retail value and volume sales of frozen meat-free foods, by sub-segment, 2011-16
                                                                                    • Sausages and snacks add most value to the chilled segment in 2016
                                                                                      • Figure 13: UK retail value and volume sales of chilled meat-free foods, by sub-segment, 2011-16
                                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                                    • Health concerns around meat fuel the ‘flexitarian’ trend
                                                                                      • Plant proteins seen in a positive light
                                                                                        • Foodservice embraces vegetarianism and veganism
                                                                                          • Sainsbury’s looks to boost vegetable consumption through store redesigns
                                                                                            • Concerns around antibiotics in meat could give a further boost
                                                                                              • UN panel advocates tax on meat to preserve environment
                                                                                                • Consumer cutbacks on meat as incomes tighten could benefit some products more than others
                                                                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                  • Own-label dominates meat-free, but is in decline
                                                                                                    • Quorn leads the brands
                                                                                                      • Linda McCartney is the star performer in frozen meat-free foods
                                                                                                        • A big NPD push from brands pays dividends
                                                                                                          • A hike in vegan launches
                                                                                                            • More emphasis is placed on protein in meat-free
                                                                                                              • Flexitarian launches bring the best of both worlds to meat
                                                                                                                • Adspend on meat-free doubles over 2012-16
                                                                                                                • Market Share

                                                                                                                  • Own-label dominates meat-free, but is in decline
                                                                                                                    • Quorn leads the brands
                                                                                                                      • Cauldron goes from strength to strength
                                                                                                                        • Figure 14: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK chilled meat-free foods market, by value and volume, 2014-16
                                                                                                                        • Figure 15: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK chilled meat-free foods market, by value and volume, 2014-16
                                                                                                                      • Linda McCartney is the star performer in frozen meat-free foods
                                                                                                                        • Birds Eye loses sales as consumers trade up
                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK frozen meat-free foods market, by value and volume, 2014-16
                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK frozen meat-free foods market, by value and volume, 2014-16
                                                                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                        • NPD within meat substitutes lags far behind that in animal-based proteins
                                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Share of new launches in the processed meat, poultry, fish and egg products market, by segment, 2012-17*
                                                                                                                        • A big NPD push from brands pays dividends
                                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Share of new launches in the meat substitute market, by brands versus private label, 2012-16
                                                                                                                        • A busy schedule of NPD for Quorn
                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Share of new launches in the meat substitute market, by company (top 5 in 2016), 2012-17
                                                                                                                          • A hike in vegan launches
                                                                                                                            • The Vegetarian Society rolls out new vegan trademark
                                                                                                                              • Combining meat-free with other free-from credentials
                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Share of new launches in the meat substitute market, by claim (top 10 in 2016, excluding vegetarian), 2012-17
                                                                                                                              • More emphasis is placed on protein in meat-free
                                                                                                                                • The positivity surrounding plant proteins is being harnessed
                                                                                                                                  • Exciting flavours in meat-free
                                                                                                                                    • Bright vegetables make a growing appearance in meat-free…
                                                                                                                                      • …however five-a-day claims can bring tangibility to health benefits
                                                                                                                                        • Flexitarian launches bring the best of both worlds to meat
                                                                                                                                          • New healthier sausage brand launches at Tesco
                                                                                                                                            • The arrival of the Funky Flexitarian
                                                                                                                                              • A new addition to the Flexilicious range
                                                                                                                                                • Growing competition for meat-free from prepared meals
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Share of new launches in the prepared meals market carrying a vegetarian and vegan claim, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                              • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                • Adspend on meat-free doubles over 2012-16
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on meat-free foods, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on meat-free foods, by advertiser, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                                • Quorn focuses on health to appeal to a general audience
                                                                                                                                                  • New Olympians recruited in 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • Putting the focus on taste
                                                                                                                                                      • Highlighting environmental credentials via social media
                                                                                                                                                        • Charities advocate meat reduction
                                                                                                                                                          • Vegan organisation looks to eclipse vegetarianism in attack on the farming industry
                                                                                                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                              • Despite still being a nation of meat eaters, 28% have cut back
                                                                                                                                                                • Women, 25-34s, Londoners most likely to limit/reduce meat intake
                                                                                                                                                                  • A diversity of reasons for cutting back, but health is top
                                                                                                                                                                    • The environmental message is getting through to under-25s
                                                                                                                                                                      • Low frequency of usage of meat-free foods
                                                                                                                                                                        • Notably higher usage among meat avoiders and reducers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Meat is held in high regard for its nutritional content
                                                                                                                                                                            • Concerns linger over ingredients in meat substitutes
                                                                                                                                                                              • Meat substitutes are marred with a bland image
                                                                                                                                                                                • The younger generation are hungry for more recipe suggestions
                                                                                                                                                                                • Meat Eating Habits

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Britain remains a nation of meat eaters
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Over a quarter of meat eaters have already cut back
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Women, 25-34s, Londoners most likely to limit/reduce meat intake
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Meat avoidance is most prevalent among young women
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Consumers’ meat eating habits, by gender, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Veganism remains niche
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Diets followed by non-meat eaters, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Reasons for Meat Reduction and Avoidance

                                                                                                                                                                                        • A diversity of reasons to restrain meat intake
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Health is the top reason for cutting back on meat
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Reasons why consumers have/would be interested in limiting/reducing the amount of red meat/poultry they eat and reasons for meat avoidance, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Weight management is a key driver
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ethical and environmental reasons drive meat avoidance
                                                                                                                                                                                                • The environmental message is getting through to under-25s…
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …but brands should be more vocal about their benefits
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tangible benefits can show consumers that they can make a difference
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Usage of Meat-free Foods

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Low levels of usage of meat-free foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Frequency of usage of meat-free foods, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Notably higher usage among meat avoiders…
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Usage of meat-free foods, by consumers’ meat eating habits, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …and those limiting/reducing meat
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Meat-free Foods

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Meat is held in high regard for its nutritional content…
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Attitudes towards meat-free foods, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …presenting a need for meat substitutes to prove their nutritional worth
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Iron and amino acids explored by meat-free brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Concerns linger over ingredients in meat substitutes…
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …with meat-esque products having the biggest mountain to climb
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The younger generation are hungry for more recipe suggestions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Recipes must get on the path of shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • ‘Little Twists’ campaign has relevance for meat-free
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Social media can help make recipe ideas visual
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bloggers/vloggers are having an impact
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Qualities Associated with Meat-free Foods

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Widespread uncertainty about meat-free products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Meat substitutes are marred with a bland image
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Exciting flavours needed to tap into “foodie” trends
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Rotating ranges can bring excitement and newness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Qualities associated with meat-free foods, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Further qualities associated with meat-free foods, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of meat-free foods, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of meat-free foods, 2016-21