A new white paper by international research and data analytics group YouGov suggests that most people following a flexitarian diet are not planning to become vegan - or even vegetarian - within a year.
The paper, titled Is the future of food flexitarian?, describes Flexitarians as being 'somewhere in the middle' consuming meat occasionally, but eating a mainly plant-based diet. It says 14 percent of Brits identify as eating this diet.
Of the flexitarians polled, 93 percent said they were 'not at all likely' to ditch all animal products within a year.
"This indicates that being a flexitarian is a conscious and deliberate long-term choice and not just a gateway to a fully meat-free diet," says the paper.
"This group wants to eat less meat but they are not going to give up the occasional burger. Our data reveals that flexitarianism is a legitimate dietary choice in its own right, rather than being a stop on the road to giving up animal products altogether."
The data shows that 69 percent of flexitarians are actively trying to reduce their meat consumption, and that 26 percent of meat-eaters who don't identify as flexitarians would like to cut down on the amount of meat they eat. But the report doesn't talk about how many people are looking to reduce other animal products including dairy and eggs - or whether reducing intake of meat increases reliance on these other animal products. Recent data coming out of the egg industry suggests this could be the case.
Flexitarians and eggs
UK eggs sales skyrocketed in 2018 according to figures released by the British Egg Industry Council, which said the growing of people trying a 'flexitarian' diet could be a factor.
"Eggs are firmly back in fashion, with sales maintaining their relentless rise in 2018, supported by consumer desire for healthier options, flexitarianism, and the impact of the change in official advice that vulnerable groups can now enjoy runny eggs, as long as they are Lion," a spokesperson for the British Egg Information Service (BEIS) said as sales exceeded 13 billion for the first time since the 1980s, an increase of four percent or 240 million eggs.
'Disheartened by increased egg sales'
"Although it's fantastic to see an increase in the number of people choosing vegetarian foods and transitioning towards veganism, we are disheartened by the growth of egg sales," Lex Rigby, Viva! Campaigns Manager, told Plant Based News.
"We believe that every step towards veganism is a positive one and so while we would celebrate people reducing their meat intake, we would urge them not to replace meat with eggs. This is not only because of the inherent cruelty found in the egg industry, but because it is completely unnecessary!
"There are so many delicious and healthy alternatives to all animal products, including meat and eggs. Ultimately, the most effective way to end animal suffering is to go vegan."