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Carbon footprint conscious meat eaters flock to flexitarian trend.

A decline in meat eating has been taking the country by storm but what does this mean for venues that rely on meat consumption for their profit?

In recent months we’ve noticed more table bookings asking in advance about our vegetarian and vegan options. In most parties booking for a special occasion there is usually at least one non-meat eater”
— Nico (Owner of Beleza Rodizio)

HULL, UNITED KINGDOM, July 29, 2022 / -- The flexitarian approach is proving that people can make conscious decisions to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle without giving up animal products entirely.
The top food trend predicted for 2022 was the rise of the ‘flexitarian’ diet. A lifestyle approach where those traditionally classed as meat eaters make conscious choices to eat vegetarian or plant based for part of their week.
Dubbed perfect for ‘the plant-based curious’ who aren’t ready to give up their meat eating entirely, flexitarianism gives people a flexible approach to cutting down their meat intake and many have adopted the diet without even realising.
The impact of this is global and in some of the once major meat consuming countries, the meat market is in decline. This is due to a number of factors, from environmental concerns to personal health choices. But despite the rise of people becoming fully fledged vegans and vegetarians, the bulk of this decline can be seen from households simply cutting down on their meat intake, without completely abandoning animal-based products for good.
While some people may describe themselves as ‘flexitarian’ it could be used to describe many people’s diets, especially those in more urban environments. Market intelligence agency Mintel said that in 2021, 50% of British people were eating meat substitutes. not necessarily cutting out meat but choosing substitutes as an accompaniment).
This number tipped largely toward younger age groups, with 65% of the 16-24 bracket seeking out meat substitutes, while only 26% of those in the over 65 bracket were making similar purchasing decisions.
But what does this mean for restaurants who rely largely on meat consumption to survive? The good news for grill style restaurants is that a lot of people adopting this flexitarian lifestyle, choose to eat meat when they go out rather than cooking in the home and with this are willing to pay more for better, locally sourced cuts.
This can be pinned down to the fact that consumers are focussing on quality over quantity as they become more aware of animal wellness and environmental concerns.
Waitrose’s 2022 Food & Drink Report found that nearly 70% of surveyed customers said the carbon footprint of their food was important and so the highest quality meat, eggs and diary are also in demand.
Hull based Brazilian restaurant, Beleza offers ‘Rodizio’ style service in which an all you can eat meat concept is their draw. But despite the decline in meat consumption across the country, they’re still flourishing and even claim to have drawn a flexitarian crowd.
Owner Nico commented on how their clientele come to them because ‘our customers know when they come to us their meat and diary is sourced responsibly from the highest quality suppliers. In recent months we’ve noticed more table bookings asking in advance about our vegetarian and vegan options. In most parties booking for a special occasion there is usually at least one non-meat eater, and we make sure our mouth-watering Brazilian and Argentinian hot and cold dishes including salads, pastas and fresh vegetables are readily available. ‘
Beleza are not alone in this discovery and it seems those seeking a flexitarian way of life prefer to save their consumption of animal products for dining out and purchases from high end suppliers such as local farm shops and butchers, cutting down on their carbon footprint and adopting a more conscious and sustainable lifestyle.

Anne Kristensen
Beleza Rodizio
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