The research found that more than one quarter (28%) of Brits identify themselves as ‘meat reducers’ – people who are actively attempting to reduce meat in their diet. It also found that percentage rose to 32% in London.
The study, which was conducted by Censuswide and commissioned by More Than Carrots (a restaurant guide that helps diners find veggie venues), analysed 2,002 UK adults and their dietary preferences.
In a bid to further understand the motivations behind the behaviour of a 14.9m UK consumers, further analysis was conducted among 2,006 UK meat reducers.
The findings showed one quarter (26%) of UK meat reducers are avoiding meat due to the impact on the carbon footprint and 15% said they are cutting down on meat to help reduce de-forestation.
However, More Than Carrots claims restaurants and pubs have some way to go before creating better choices for meat-reducing Brits with more than one fifth (22%) meat reducers disagreeing that restaurants make it easier for diners to eat less meat.
The typical UK meat reducer spends 13 minutes on average, researching venues for dishes before choosing one.
More Than Carrots founder Annette Burgard said: “Climate change is at a tipping point and a lot of people are beginning to realise the enormous impact that reducing meat in their diet can have on the environment.
“Eating less meat is the one action everyone can take every day and that is 100% in our control. However, we have found that people struggle, especially at restaurants.
“To help them, we are providing the first guide that enables diners to directly compare restaurants and visit the ones that make easy for them to choose the most appealing veggie option."
She added: “We have compiled this list by using an algorithm to analyse and score restaurant menus reliably and at scale.
“Our criteria are based on research from third-party studies and our own qualitative analysis of meat reducers’ behaviour. We are starting in London but our ambition is to roll out our solution UK-wide.”
There is a growing demand for more vegetable and less meat among UK consumers, mainly due to an increasing awareness of the benefits to health and the environment, according to UK food system think-tank The Food Foundation CEO Anna Taylor.
She said: “At the same time, the number of places to eat out has grown by more than 50% in the past 10 years. The eating out-of-home sector plays a critical role in making delicious, tasty dishes full of vegetables as accessible as possible and enabling people to achieve their health-related and environmental goals.”