The rise and rise of the meat free diet

As I write this it seems incredulous that as recently as 2002, BBC News reported a decline in the growth of Vegetarianism in the UK. From first surveys in 1984 when 2.1% of the population were found to be Vegetarian there had been a steady rise to 4% in 2001. However this was now a small dip from numbers in 1999 when BSE, e coli and Foot and Mouth scares were fresh in the public psyche. 

The BBC reported that 'According to a Datamonitor survey' (released in November 2002) 'Vegetarianism is a trend on the wane'. 

Almost unbelievable today. 

The Vegan Society stated there were 600,000 Vegans in the UK in 2018. This is 1.16% of the population and represents a 4 fold increase from 150,000 in just 2014.

More amazing is that data from analytics company 'GlobalData' stated that 42% of Vegans in late 2018 had indeed only switched to being Vegan within the last 12 months.

Again in late 2018 the supermarket Waitrose revealed their annual food and drink report. They concluded that 1 in 8 Britons were now either Vegan or Vegetarian (12.5%). This equates then to around 8.3 million individuals and growing.

In addition Waitrose findings suggested there were a further 21% of the population considered to be 'flexitarian' where a largely vegetable-based diet is supplemented occasionally with meat. Overall then 1/3rd of the UK population have now ceased or reduced their meat consumption.

'Mintel Global New Products Database' (GNPD) stated that 2018 saw the UK launch more new Vegan products than any other country in the world.

A study presented in February 2018 by The University of Hohenheim stated that 'Meat substitute' products had seen a 451% growth rate in the European market.

And it's no surprise then that a DEFRA report in 2017 said that 'meat sales' in the UK were down 4.2% that year alone and 'meat products' down by 7% compared to 2012.

Sign Ups for 'Veganuary' (eat Vegan for a month campaign) nearly doubled in 2019. 

VaVuk believe this is all just the beginning, that Veganism and Vegetarianism is only now starting to build momentum.   


Animal Welfare is currently at the forefront of reasoning for becoming meat-free (in the Waitrose study above it was the most cited reason for making the change at 55%) but personal well-being (health) closely followed by the increased understanding of the environmental impact of the farming of meat will see Veganism and Vegetarianism continue to grow exponentially.

The Vegan Society's own 2017 study carried out by 'Opinion Matters' found that 4 in 5 people just did not know that animal agriculture is a key cause of climate change. 

Vavuk looks to be another catalyst towards change. Accelerating Change.


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