A total of 2,000 consumers who identified as flexitarian were quizzed for the survey, which formed the basis of the Quorn ChiQin Report. It found that the burger was still the top choice of meat-free meal when flexitarians dine out, but that there was a huge growing desire for more chicken like dishes, such as wings, strips and tenders.
Four in ten respondents claimed to eat meat-free or plant-based options half of the time when eating out of home. A total of 43.6% said a restaurant having environmentally sustainable practices or values was important when choosing a place to eat out, while 48.1% valued one demonstrating it was cutting its carbon footprint. Earlier this month, Quorn announced it was exploring decarbonised production at its Billingham factory.
“With flexitarianism gathering momentum and leading to widespread innovation in the food industry, meat free dishes on some menus can still be limited," said Quorn foodservice director Phil Thornborrow, commenting on the results of the survey, which was conducted in partnership with the Sustainable Restaurant Association. "This lack of variety is the top thing that puts flexitarians, and importantly the whole group they are with, off eating at a particular restaurant.
Need to evolve
“The meat-free burger was the first concession for many food operators, bringing in vegetarians and meat eaters alike, but now we need to evolve to continue satisfying this ever-changing audience of diners. This report is intended to act as a toolkit, filled with insights and tips on understanding the meat-free market, that will help decision makers adapt their menus and stay ahead of the curve.”
In 2021, Quorn announced the launch of a Takeaway range consisting of three new vegan products. They were the Quorn Crunchy Fillet Burger (190g, priced at £2.50), which was launched in Asda and Tesco stores; Quorn Buffalo Wings (240g, priced at £3.00) - launched in Tesco - and Quorn Crunchy Strips (240g, priced at £3.00) - also launched for Tesco.
It also officially launched ChiQin, a new concept for hospitality customers, featuring three products: Quorn Buffalo Wings; Quorn Southern Fried Wings and its Buttermilk Style Chicken Burger.