Consumption of plant-based dairy and meat alternatives looks set to hit the mainstream in Ireland in 2023, as new research commissioned by oat drink company Oatly reveals that one third of shoppers are buying more meat and dairy alternatives than they did three years ago – and the trend shows no sign of slowing down, with three out of ten adults planning to make even more plant-based swaps in 2023.
The research, conducted by Opinions, surveyed more than 1,000 adults across Ireland on their diets, attitudes towards climate change, and dairy and meat alternatives.
- The popularity of plant-based products is being driven by all age groups under 50, with 18- to 24-year-olds and 25- to 34-year-olds the most likely to consider swapping to plant-based alternatives (42% and 48%, respectively).
- More than three quarters (76%) of Irish adults are concerned about climate change, with one in four (25%) citing it as the top reason for shifting to meat and dairy alternatives.
- Some 25% said that they choose plant-based products because they want to cut back on red meat and/or dairy for their health.
- The role that food production plays in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions is widely underestimated, with just one in ten (13%) adults identifying that the global food system contributes more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions (half of which comes from meat and dairy production).
Statements By General Manager For Oatly In The UK And Ireland
Bryan Carroll, general manager for Oatly in the UK and Ireland, commented, “This new research shows dairy alternatives are on the cusp of entering the mainstream in Ireland. At Oatly, we want to make it easy for people to make small swaps in their diet, and that means creating products that require zero compromise on taste, performance, or nutrition. Climate change is the most significant challenge we face, and scientists and researchers agree that we must reduce our consumption of animal-based foods for the benefit of our planet and our future. We’re committed to driving this change by working with retailers and coffee shops across Ireland to make Oatly products widely available, and, through our first major brand campaign, raise greater awareness of the availability and benefits of plant-based alternatives to dairy.”
An interesting finding from the report was that choosing plant-based alternatives is currently less popular amongst older age groups. More than half (55%) of those aged 65 and older said that they wouldn’t consider a meat or dairy alternative in the coming year, with preconceptions on taste cited as the most common barrier.
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