Meat or no meat? The rise of realistic meat substitutes | Insight | Macphie

It’s pretty evident that in recent years, vegetarian and vegan diets have become more prevalent in the UK, and worldwide.

According to research by Nielsen, 40% of adults are now trying to cut down on their meat consumption by trying to include more vegan options in their diet.

And with a quarter of all UK evening meals now either vegan or vegetarian, us Brits have started experimenting with different ways to reduce the amount of meat we eat.

Whether we’re making this choice for health reasons, or from a sustainability point of view, we’re actively changing the way we approach dinner.

The beginning: veggie sausages and mince

It started with Linda McCartney sausages and Quorn mince.

Simple, like-for-like vegetarian options that could be switched for their meat counterpart with ease.

Quorn products really revolutionised the way vegetarians experiment with food and they are still leading the way today (in 2017 Quorn’s global sales demand was up by 16%).

These pioneering products allowed those who wanted to move away from eating meat, an alternative, that was readily available and easy to prepare.

Mission Impossible

The way the meat substitutes market has moved on in the last few years is astounding.

Partially down to social media (almost 50% of all vegans are aged 15-34 years) veganism has become very ‘on-trend’.

You would need to have been living under a rock to have not heard of jackfruit: a vegan “pulled pork” that is slow-cooked in a BBQ sauce to replicate the texture and flavour of actual meat.

The Impossible Burger hit the headlines last year too, a fully plant-based burger that is as close to beef as you can get. It even bleeds!

Sgaia’s Vegan Meats have changed the game with their unique blend of wheat & soya protein “meats” including pastrami, streaky bacon, rare roast beef and pepperoni.

Vegan Fast Food

One of the most exciting opportunities created by this market growth, is the diversity it allows when it comes to curating a menu suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Filthy and delicious fast foods, once reserved for carnivores, can now be created completely vegan.

In London, restaurants like Temple of Seitan and by CHLOE. produce tasty plant-based meals without compromising on taste, and chains including Wagamama have adapted their menu to improve their vegan offering.

At Macphie we’re proud to be launching our own pulled jackfruit products, a delicious meat substitute that can be used to top a range of delicious meals: from burgers and nachos to macaroni cheese.

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