A ‘flexitarian’ diet is plant-based with the occasional inclusion of meat.
Recent data from the Office of National Statistics revealed that 1.2M people in the UK consider themselves vegetarian and new research by The Food People predicted this would rise by 50% over the next two years.
Combining this with a rise in numbers of flexitarians and a push for ‘meat-free Mondays’, there is a huge market ready to be tapped into, the firm said.
Charles Banks, director of The Food People, said: “There has been a seismic shift in attitudes towards celebrating vegetables and opting to eat less meat. We expect meat-free eating and Flexitarianism to soon be a mega trend.”
It was more important than ever that the food industry adapted in order to capitalise on this growing market, he added.
Ready meal manufacturer Classic Cuisine claimed it was working hard to create distinctive and innovative new products to meet the rising trends in vegetarianism.
Mark Dean, sales director at Classic Cuisine, said: “The demand for our vegetarian options has risen from all our clients including branded national pub chains, hotel chains, in-store dining and high street restaurants. With that in mind, we continue to develop and create new and exciting meat-free dishes every year to enhance our range.”
Meanwhile, earlier this year, Classic Cuisine’s md Jeeva Sanmugam told FoodManufacture.co.uk that if the firm hadn’t bought vegetarian and desert brand Jon George last year it would not have been able to grow as a business.