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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
  • 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.

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What's included

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Stellar growth for meat-free foods since 2016…
              • Figure 1: UK retail value sales of meat-free foods, 2013-21
            • …underpinned by lifestyle trends and NPD
              • The rapid growth in sales is set to endure
                • Chilled leads in meat-free but frozen has enjoyed stronger growth
                  • Sales of frozen meat-free foods reach the highest level in five years
                    • Health concerns drive ‘flexitarian’ trend
                      • Meat-free foods in foodservice can boost interest in meat-free foods
                        • The ageing population poses a challenge to the market
                          • Companies and brands
                            • Strong growth for chilled meat-free foods
                              • Figure 2: Leading brands’ shares in the UK chilled meat-free foods market, by value, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                            • Own-label extends dominance in frozen meat-free foods
                              • Figure 3: Leading brands’ shares in the UK frozen meat-free foods market, by value, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                            • Strong start to meat-free food launches in 2018
                              • Vegan claims rise to over half of meat substitute launches
                                • High/added protein continues to be an area for emphasis
                                  • Sainsbury’s and Waitrose extend vegan offerings
                                    • Steep rise in adspend on meat-free foods in the first half of 2018
                                      • Quorn spotlights three aspects in advertising meat-free foods
                                        • Meat-free campaigns become more high profile
                                          • The consumer
                                            • Meat eating is ingrained in Britain
                                              • Figure 4: Consumers’ meat eating habits, by age, July 2018
                                            • A third of meat eaters have reduced their meat consumption
                                              • Eating less meat is seen as a good way to improve health
                                                • Figure 5: Benefits of eating less meat, July 2018
                                              • Over half of consumers have eaten meat-free foods
                                                • Figure 6: Frequency of usage of meat-free foods, July 2018
                                              • Meat-free foods have made inroads into snacking
                                                • Figure 7: Occasions when meat-free foods have been eaten, July 2018
                                              • A variety of sources are used for meat-free meal inspiration
                                                • Figure 8: Sources used for meat-free meal inspiration, July 2018
                                              • Meat-like qualities are most likely to drive people to the category
                                                • Figure 9: Factors to encourage trying of meat-free foods, July 2018
                                              • Meat-free foods need to deliver on protein
                                                • Figure 10: Attitudes towards meat-free foods, July 2018
                                              • What we think
                                              • Issues and Insights

                                                • Meat-free foods can make further inroads into breakfast and snacking occasions
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • Imitating meat characteristics can inject excitement into the category
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                            • A need for clarity over the ingredients used in meat-free foods
                                                              • The facts
                                                                • The implications
                                                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Stellar growth for meat-free foods since 2016…
                                                                    • …underpinned by lifestyle trends and NPD
                                                                      • The rapid growth in sales is set to endure
                                                                        • Chilled leads in meat-free but frozen has enjoyed stronger growth
                                                                          • Sales of frozen meat-free foods reach the highest level in five years
                                                                            • Health concerns drive ‘flexitarian’ trend
                                                                              • Meat-free foods in foodservice can boost interest in meat-free foods
                                                                                • The ageing population poses a challenge to the market
                                                                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                  • Stellar growth for meat-free foods
                                                                                    • Figure 11: UK retail value and volume sales of meat-free foods, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Value growth forecast for the market
                                                                                    • Figure 12: UK retail value sales of meat-free foods, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Growth in the child population should support volume sales
                                                                                    • Figure 13: UK retail volume sales of meat-free foods, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                                  • Market Segmentation

                                                                                    • Chilled leads in meat-free but frozen has enjoyed stronger growth
                                                                                      • Figure 14: UK retail value and volume sales of meat-free foods, by segment, 2013-18
                                                                                    • Snacks and sausages add the most value in the chilled segment
                                                                                      • Figure 15: UK retail value and volume sales of chilled meat-free foods, by sub-segment, 2013-18
                                                                                    • Sales of frozen meat-free foods reach the highest level in five years
                                                                                      • Figure 16: UK retail value and volume sales of frozen meat-free foods, by sub-segment, 2013-18
                                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                                    • Health concerns drive ‘flexitarian’ trend
                                                                                      • Environmental concerns are giving rise to the ‘reducetarian’ trend
                                                                                        • Concerns over antibiotics in meat help to drive meat reduction
                                                                                          • Potential for plant-based seafood to enter the market
                                                                                            • Meat-free foods in foodservice can boost interest in meat-free foods
                                                                                              • Quorn to invest £7 million in a vegan research centre
                                                                                                • Traces of meat found in meat-free foods
                                                                                                  • Meat substitute terms could come under fire for being ‘misleading’
                                                                                                    • Household spend is subdued but the pressure is set to ease
                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Annual percentage change in CPI and AWE (regular pay), monthly basis, January 2012-May 2018
                                                                                                    • The ageing population poses a challenge to the market
                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2013-18 and 2018-23
                                                                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                    • Strong growth for chilled meat-free foods
                                                                                                      • Own-label extends dominance in frozen meat-free foods
                                                                                                        • Strong start to meat-free food launches in 2018
                                                                                                          • Vegan claims rise to over half of meat substitute launches
                                                                                                            • High/added protein continues to be an area for emphasis
                                                                                                              • Sainsbury’s and Waitrose extend vegan offerings
                                                                                                                • Steep rise in adspend on meat-free foods in the first half of 2018
                                                                                                                  • Quorn spotlights three aspects in advertising meat-free foods
                                                                                                                    • Meat-free campaigns become more high profile
                                                                                                                    • Market Share

                                                                                                                      • Strong growth for chilled meat-free foods
                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK chilled meat-free foods market, by value and volume, 2015/16-2017/18
                                                                                                                      • Double-digit value and volume growth for leading brands
                                                                                                                        • Own-label extends dominance in frozen meat-free foods
                                                                                                                          • Market leader Quorn has lost market share despite value sales growth
                                                                                                                            • Linda McCartney is the only brand to see value and volume sales growth
                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK frozen meat-free foods market, by value and volume, 2015/16-2017/18
                                                                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                            • Strong start to meat-free food launches in 2018
                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Share of new launches in the processed meat, poultry, fish and egg products market, by segment, 2014-18
                                                                                                                            • Vegan claims rise to over half of meat substitute launches
                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Share of new product launches in the UK meat-free foods market, by top 10 claims (sorted by 2017), 2014-18
                                                                                                                            • Veganuary sparks raft of NPD
                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Examples of products launched to coincide with Veganuary, January 2018
                                                                                                                            • High/added protein continues to be an area for emphasis
                                                                                                                              • Quorn targets convenience channel with new range
                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Before and after redesign of Quorn’s packaging, 2015-18
                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Share of new launches in the meat substitutes market, by company (sorted by 2017), 2014-18
                                                                                                                              • Garden Gourmet brand launches into Sainsbury’s stores and Ocado
                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Examples from Nestlé’s Garden Gourmet Meat-free Range, May 2018
                                                                                                                              • Spate of vegan range launches from retailers
                                                                                                                                • Tesco partners with ‘Wicked Kitchen’
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Examples from the Wicked Kitchen range at Tesco, January 2018
                                                                                                                                • Vivera brings the ‘world’s first’ vegan steak to Tesco shelves
                                                                                                                                  • Plans in place to bring the Beyond Burger to the UK market
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: The Beyond Burger, US
                                                                                                                                  • No Bull bleeding burgers from Iceland
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Iceland’s No Bull Burgers, April 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Sainsbury’s extends vegetarian and vegan offerings
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Examples added to Sainsbury’s vegan and vegetarian lines, June-July 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Waitrose adds a dedicated vegan section to its stores
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: NoChicken Nuggets from The Vegetarian Butcher available at Waitrose, June 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Heck expands range of plant-based sausages
                                                                                                                                    • Linda McCartney ups its seasonal vegan offerings
                                                                                                                                    • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                      • Steep rise in adspend on meat-free foods in the first half of 2018
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on meat-free foods, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                      • Quorn spotlights three aspects in advertising meat-free foods
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on meat-free foods, by advertiser, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                      • Quorn enlists celebrities to focus on health credentials
                                                                                                                                        • Linda McCartney hosts immersive meat-free experience
                                                                                                                                          • Meat-free campaigns become more high profile
                                                                                                                                            • The Vegetarian Society steps up digital activity
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on meat-free foods, by media type, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                            • ‘Vegan on the Go’ campaign highlights lack of meat-free options
                                                                                                                                              • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                • Meat eating is ingrained in Britain
                                                                                                                                                  • A third of meat eaters have reduced their meat consumption
                                                                                                                                                    • Eating less meat is seen as a good way to improve health
                                                                                                                                                      • Over half of consumers have eaten meat-free foods
                                                                                                                                                        • 25-34s are most likely to eat meat-free foods for breakfast
                                                                                                                                                          • Meat-free foods have made inroads into snacking
                                                                                                                                                            • A variety of sources are used for meat-free meal inspiration
                                                                                                                                                              • Meat-like qualities are most likely to drive people to the category
                                                                                                                                                                • Meat-free foods need to deliver on protein
                                                                                                                                                                • Meat Eating Habits

                                                                                                                                                                  • Meat eating is ingrained in Britain
                                                                                                                                                                    • A third of meat eaters have reduced their meat consumption
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Consumers’ meat eating habits, by age, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                      • Reducing meat consumption is more common among affluent consumers
                                                                                                                                                                        • Parents of under-18s show sizeable interest in reducing meat consumption
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Asda’s Chosen By Kids Veggie Chicken Burgers, 2014
                                                                                                                                                                      • Benefits of Eating Less Meat

                                                                                                                                                                        • Eating less meat is seen as a good way to improve health
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Benefits of eating less meat, by gender, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                        • Environmental impacts are an important consideration for a quarter
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Quorn meat-free pieces, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                          • Few see reducing the consumption of antibiotics as a benefit
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Fry’s Family Food Quinoa & Rice Protein Burgers, February 2017
                                                                                                                                                                        • Usage of Meat-free Foods

                                                                                                                                                                          • Over half of consumers have eaten meat-free foods
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Frequency of usage of meat-free foods, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumption of meat-free foods skewed towards more affluent consumers
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Usage of meat-free foods, by consumers’ meat eating habits, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                        • When Meat-free Foods are Eaten

                                                                                                                                                                          • Dinner is the key usage occasion for meat-free foods
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Occasions when meat-free foods have been eaten, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                          • 25-34s are most likely to eat meat-free foods for breakfast
                                                                                                                                                                            • Meat-free foods have made inroads into snacking
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Examples of vegetable- and fruit-based jerky-style snacks, May-November 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • Sources Used for Meat-free Meal Inspiration

                                                                                                                                                                            • A variety of sources are used for meat-free meal inspiration
                                                                                                                                                                              • Friends and family are the most commonly used sources for ideas
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Sources used for meat-free meals, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • Younger age groups most likely to look for inspiration
                                                                                                                                                                                • Cookery books are popular among older generations
                                                                                                                                                                                  • On-pack recipes are lacking in the category
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Summer Pride’s Jackfruit in water, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • Factors to Encourage Trying of Meat-free Foods

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Meat-like qualities are most likely to drive people to the category
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Factors to encourage trying of meat-free foods, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • More exciting flavours can bring interest to the category
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Examples of flavour variations in meat-free foods, April-May 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Financial savings could sway a quarter
                                                                                                                                                                                      • The sustainability message lacks any real persuasion
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Meat-free Foods

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Meat-free foods need to deliver on protein
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Attitudes towards meat-free foods, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Meat-free options can help to cater for different diets
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Clarity needed over the ingredients used in meat-free foods
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Vivera’s 100% vegan Smokey BBQ pulled veggie, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Short ingredient lists would be favoured by two fifths
                                                                                                                                                                                            • “Bleeding” burgers appeal to a quarter of under-35s
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of meat-free foods, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Beat- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of meat-free foods, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Share of new launches in the meat substitutes market, by brands versus own-label, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: New product launches in the UK meat-free foods market carrying L/N/R claims, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Share of new launches in the meat-free foods market carrying an added/high-protein claim, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Share of new product launches in the UK meat-free foods market, by storage type, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK chilled meat-free foods market, by value and volume, 2015/16-2017/18
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK frozen meat-free foods market, by value and volume, 2015/16-2017/18
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Frequency of usage of meat-free foods, March 2017 and July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Usage of any meat-free foods, by age, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Repertoire of meat-free foods eaten, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Diets followed by non-meat eaters, March 2017 and July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Meat-free foods – CHAID – Table output, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Meat-free foods – CHAID – Tree output, July 2018