Waitrose report finds trend towards less but better meat

Almost one in three consumers (30%) eats less meat than they did five years ago, with many favouring better quality cuts, according to new research published by Waitrose.

In surveys and focus groups conducted for its food & drink report 2017-18, the supermarket found that one of the ways shoppers are reducing their expenditure on food is to buy more vegetarian products.

“Our experts point to people adapting their diets according to their budget and the day of the week to avoid having to compromise on quality,” the report reads. “We might save the steak until Saturday while increasing the number of vegetable-based meals we eat during the rest of the week, for example.”

However, these cutbacks are based on reduced quantity rather than quality, with 30% of respondents more likely to buy good quality meat than they did in 2012 (which is pre the horsemeat scandal).

The research – which involves consumers who use all supermarkets and not just Waitrose – also revealed that more people than ever are heading to the “reduced” shelf in order to find a deal. Most (87%) are doing so to save money, but 37% said it was because they “hate to see food go to waste”.

More than 80% of Brits now sometimes of always ignore best before dates, for example, whilst 71% feel ashamed about chucking food away. This has resulted in more people asking for doggy bags when they eat out – 7% said they take one now but never would have done so five years ago, whilst 16% ask for one more frequently than they did previously.

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