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48% of Kiwis plan to eat less meat in 2020

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Nearly half (48%) of all Kiwis are planning to reduce their meat consumption in 2020, according to a new independent survey released by plant-based food brand, MorningStar Farms.

Asked why they planned to change, the most popular response given by 69% of people was personal health, however environmental impact and climate change was also a popular answer, particularly with those under 40 (61%).

The shift in attitudes reflects the growing ‘flexitarian’ trend that sees consumers adjust their diets based on personal choice at a particular time. The ‘Veganuary’ movement is the latest example, originating from the UK but taken up by an increasing number of Kiwis, it sees subscribers going vegan just for the month of January.

Other interesting survey findings included:

11% said eating less meat was one of their New Year's Resolutions

21% of people said they only eat meat from time to time or occasionally. 5% didn’t eat any meat at all

Females were more likely to change their eating habits, with 57% of them saying they would look to reduce their meat intake compared to 40% of males

12% of people have already made an active choice to reduce the amount of meat they eat

78% of Aucklanders said they eat meat frequently, compared with 66% of those from the South Island

Changing consumer habits have also seen retailers rush to expand their meat-alternative offering as new brands enter the market. Data from Barclays in the UK predicts the global market for plant-based meat alternatives could grow to $140 billion in the next 10 years.

MorningStar Farms is the latest plant-based food brand to launch in New Zealand. Already well established in North America, it’s the top selling vegetarian burger brand in the US.

Joanne Doran, Marketing Manager at MorningStar Farms New Zealand, said the brand was recognising changing consumer tastes.

"New Zealanders are very much in tune with changing trends when it comes to their health and the environment with many looking to reduce their meat intake," said Joanne.

"This made the decision to launch MorningStar Farms in the country a no-brainer. New Zealand is the first country outside of North America to stock the brand and we’ve got high hopes for it.

"It offers people a readily available meat-alternative that can be an easy fix for a mid-week dinner and a great way for parents to give their kids more vegetables."

A mix of six vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives are currently available in the freezer aisle of most supermarkets. These include three types of burger, Chic’N Nuggets, Grillers Classic Mince and Veggie Sausages.

To give Kiwis a taste of what to expect, MorningStar Farms is launching in Auckland with a pop-up virtual restaurant offering tasty vegetarian and vegan meals for as little as $5 each.

But you'll have to be quick. The virtual restaurant, open to those using the app and based in Ponsonby and surrounding suburbs, will only be open between 5:00pm and 9:00pm from January 22 to January 29 and closed on January 26 and 27.

The delicious menu, found by searching MorningStar Farms in the Uber Eats, app features a spicy Mexican style burger, a classic cheese burger, spaghetti bolognese, burritos and chik’n nuggets.

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