MEAT industry bosses have called veganism an Instagram fad. A report said vegans see ditching animal products as “a badge of identity or a tribal marker, much like identifying…as a ‘gym bro’.
The critical report by the UK’s Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) said: “By claiming their credentials as a vegan, young people believe this shows the world they are ethical, healthy and environmentally aware. They have taken to Instagram to follow vegan celebrities and lifestyle bloggers such as [Fat] Gay Vegan and Deliciously Ella. In fact, the growth of veganism has partially been fueled by the growth in Instagram.”
The report, called “The Rise of Plant-based Food Products,” looks at the implications for meat and dairy.
The AHDB has in the past said the general trend for ditching meat receives a disproportionate amount of coverage in the media. It urged meat and dairy producers to innovate in a bid to lure back consumers who are trying plant-based products.
The report added: “Appetite for meat and dairy alternatives is growing as more and more people look for a wider variety of meals. Therefore, industry is being urged to look at new and innovative ways to market meat and dairy products and work together throughout the supply chain to stay in favour with consumers.”
The AHDB is also part of a £2 million scheme promoted by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) Meat Promotion Wales to raise consumer awareness of the health benefits of red meat.
The plant-based industry says it is now mainstream with sales data showing the market has skyrocketed by 20 percent in the last year alone.
Michele Simon the Executive Director of the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) said: “Plant-based meat and dairy alternatives are not just for vegetarians or vegans anymore. Now even mainstream consumers are enjoying these delicious and innovative options in the market today. The new data confirms what we are hearing and seeing every day from our members – sales are up, investment is increasing, and new jobs are being created in the plant-based foods industry.”