British Sales of Lamb Meat Plummet as Vegan Population Increases

UK lamb meat sales are experiencing a low, says a new report by Kantar Worldpanel, an international company that provides consumer knowledge and insights. This is largely thanks to a growing group of young conscious consumers who are rejecting meat-based dishes in favor of vegan food.

According to data collected, all but one form of lamb meat is experiencing the dip in popularity. Total sales figures for the market have dropped by a considerable 9.8 percent, with retail sales volumes of lamb leg roasting joints and lamb chops falling by 12.5 percent and 8.5 percent respectively. The market is expected to continue to decline throughout 2018.

“Lamb has been under pressure for a long time and it would be silly not to be concerned by these figures,” Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) red meat lead analyst Duncan Wyatt told Farmer’s Weekly. “It’s now down to the industry to innovate and attract younger buyers to lamb as the current demographic is an aging one.”

plant-based innovation attracts younger buyers

Plant-based food is quickly becoming a top supermarket trend, particularly for Millennials and members of Generation Z. According to the supermarket-focused magazine The Grocer, shoppers, regardless of diet, are actively seeking vegan food, primarily due to its health benefits and small environmental impact.

A report released by the AHDB last August confirmed that omnivores are driving the demand for plant-based groceries, attributing the high interest to the recent spike in vegan options at major UK supermarket chains. Twenty-eight percent of Brits also identify as “meat reducers,” according to a survey conducted by Censuswide.

What could replace lamb?

One Oregon-based pub, White Owl Social Club, recently replaced all lamb with vegan Impossible meat, a plant-based protein that looks, cooks, and tastes like the real thing. Last May, chef Kim Hartley from tortilla company Mission Wraps won an award for her vegan lamb sandwich, made with soya protein, pea fibre, and herbs and spices. Further, at Sultana, a vegan shawarma shop located in Tel Aviv, seasoned forest mushrooms stand in for traditional lamb meat.

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