The growing popularity of meat-free products has seen sales rise by £17.2 million in the last 12 months.

The rise of the ‘flexitarian’ movement combined with the continuing popularity of the vegetarianism and veganism has seen a 6.4 per cent growth in sales of veggie and vegan products and other meat substitutes.

According to the research, people across the country are continuing to cut back on meat and fish as part of the popular flexitarian trend, rather than giving it up entirely, with events like ‘Meat-free Monday’ helping to reduce the amount of red meat Brits eat during the week.

The figures, covering the year to the end of January, were announced in The Grocer’s meat-free category report 2017 and showed that sales of meat-free products and substitutes were up to £284 million.

By far the most popular of these products were the veggie sausages which are now worth £47 million a year. While veggie burgers grew to £32 million a year, other meat free ingredients such as Quorn mince made up a further £64 million of the total.

Interestingly the report by the online trade magazine The Grocer, credits the boost to the Flexitarians and not the steadily growing number of vegans and vegetarians with three quarters of buyers of products like Quorn aren’t fully vegetarian, according to the research.

The Grocer said in its report: “It is all the result of flexitarianism. Just over a quarter of Brits, 16 million people, have started to cut down the amount of meat they eat.

“What’s more, research shows beef, bacon and pork are the first to be axed from the dinner table, often owing to health concerns.”

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