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Meat-free options attract young diners, survey finds

24 May 2016 by
Meat-free options attract young diners, survey finds

Half of millennials are more likely to eat out in venues that explain where the food has come from, according to the results of a survey published today (24 May).

Carried out by Populus on behalf of WWF-UK, the survey also found that 53% of millennials would opt for restaurants or cafés if meat has been reared to high animal welfare standards.

One in five people within the 18-34 generation said they would like to see restaurants offer an entirely meat-free day.

The findings accompany the release of a new report, Catering for Sustainability, from WWF-UK, Sodexo UK & Ireland and the Food Ethics Council. It sets out the business case for sustainable menus by demonstrating the positive impact it can have on revenues and profits, while mitigating supply chain risks.

Edwina Hughes, corporate responsibility manager for Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: "Working with WWF we recently piloted a set of ‘Green & Lean' sustainable meals in our independent schools business, taking popular recipes such as chicken pie and beef lasagne and making small changes to make these meals more sustainable and nutritious.

"We were pleased with the feedback from students and the wider schools communities, who were happy with the recipes, but also keen to engage with the issue of sustainable eating.

"Clearly there is growing interest from consumers in understanding the provenance of their food and the impact of their food choices. It is important that industry and stakeholders work together to help share best practice and innovation in terms of more sustainable food offers and to look at how we can inform consumer choices in this area."

The survey found that 20% of millennials intended to eat less meat over the coming year. Of those planning to cut down on meat, 68% reported that they wanted to be able to choose plant-based options from the menu.

Dan Crossley, executive director of the Food Ethics Council, said: "Most people in the UK eat out at work canteens, fast food outlets or high-end restaurants. The choices offered there have a huge impact not just on our own health, but on the health of the planet.

"Our research shows that foodservice companies stepping up to the plate and offering better sets of choices to customers are likely to be more profitable in the long run."

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