The UK Wants To Eat Less Meat But Our Restaurants Haven't Caught Up

More than a quarter of people in the UK now identify as 'meat-reducers' 🥗

Planning a meal out for vegetarians and vegans comes with a rather large task: making sure the restaurant caters to everyone’s dietary requirements.

Yet out of the top 10 restaurants from the National Restaurant Awards for 2018 (situated in London, Kent, Cornwall, Cumbria, Nottingham and Lancashire locations), five don’t have vegetarian main dishes on their a la carte menu, according to a study commissioned by start-up More Than Carrots.

This is despite the fact over a quarter (28%) of people identify themselves as a ‘meat-reducer’, i.e someone who is actively attempting to reduce meat in their diet, according to the study.

Foxys_forest_manufacture via Getty Images

Over one in five (22%) of self-proclaimed ‘meat-reducers’, who are also known as flexitarians, felt that restaurants didn’t make it easier for diners to eat less meat, while 73% admitted to avoiding a restaurant (or said they would avoid a restaurant) due to its lack of non-meat options. So, it’s safe to say the UK’s restaurants could be doing more to cater to non-meat eaters’ appetites.

To try and combat this, More Than Carrots is launching a league table of London restaurants today (July 31) to enable people to easily compare them for their selection of meat-free dishes, before booking. The start-up has plans to expand this guide across the UK.

The study also found that half of the people who identified as a ‘meat-reducer’ adopted this dietary change in the last six months. “There is a growing demand for more vegetables and less meat among UK consumers, mainly due to an increasing awareness of the benefits to both our health and the environment,” Anna Taylor, CEO of The Food Foundation, said.

“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.”