Sales of vegetarian options in Ireland rose by 18% in the last quarter of 2017, according to a new report from the Kantar Worldpanel. Much like their British neighbours, Irish citizens are changing their habits as more and more studies show that a widespread appetite for meat and dairy is negatively affecting the planet, human health, and animals.
Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report in November of last year, recognising the detrimental role animal agriculture has on the environment.
“The growth in this sector, particularly for dairy and other cattle, points to very significant risks in relation to meeting our decarbonization objectives,” the director, Eimear Cotter stated, adding that the responsibility for meeting those objectives fell to Irish “households, business, farmers and communities.”
Irish households, it seems, are taking this responsibility seriously with sales of healthy foods such as spinach, berries, and avocados rising significantly. Sales of spinach saw the biggest increase, with a 46% surge, followed by berries at 19%, and avocados at 6%.
“Shoppers increasing interest in vegetarian and vegan lifestyles was clear as sales of vegetarian options surged by 18%,” the director of Kantar Worldpanel, David Berry stated, adding that, “one in five shoppers picked up a vegetarian product during the past 12 weeks.”
The report follows similar findings on changes in the habits of UK Shoppers, with figures showing that a whopping 200 million more meat-free meals were consumed in the country in 2017.
Richard Allen, usage expert for Kantar Worldpanel said the rising interest and subsequent purchasing of vegan and vegetarian food was a sign of changing times. “Our ideas about what’s healthy are also changing – we’re more focussed on foods that are natural and less processed and eating a varied diet.” He added, “high profile celebrities and social media influencers are also raising awareness and promoting eating less or no meat as a healthy lifestyle choice.”