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81% of Kiwis opting for meat-free days

New Zealand’s meat consumption is falling, with only one in five (19%) Kiwis eating meat every day, according to new research by Toluna, a leading consumer intelligence platform.

The research, which surveyed 766 New Zealanders between 27-30 July 2021, showed that health concerns were the driving factor for a number of dietary decisions, including reduced meat consumption, an uptick in plant-based alternatives, and the reason Kiwis are trying alternative diets, such as veganism, paleo and keto.

Kiwis want to eat better than they currently do. Less than half (41%) of respondents considered their current diet to be ‘very healthy’, but when asked about future aspirations, 74% stated they would like their diet to be ‘very healthy’ in future. Of the respondents who ate meat, a third (32%) had made efforts to reduce their meat consumption, with a further 14% planning to reduce their meat consumption in future.

Health concerns were the biggest driver for reducing meat consumption (62%), with the high cost of meat (51%) and environmental reasons (29%) also deciding factors. Only 12% of those who have reduced, or plan to reduce, meat consumption have made this decision due to moral reasons.

A quarter (25%) of respondents said they had tried plant-based meat alternatives, with over half (57%) stating they will continue to eat them in future. Most respondents (66%) who like plant-based meats believe they’re a healthy alternative.

Stephen Walker, Regional Director, Toluna, New Zealand, said health issues are clearly a top priority for Kiwis.

“Our research shows that health concerns are weighing heavily on New Zealanders, with health being the number one driving factor for the majority of our dietary decisions. Even though a very small number of Kiwis are currently following a vegan diet, a surprisingly large number are actively reducing their meat intake, choosing instead to have meat free days, or replace meat with plant-based alternatives.”

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