Market & Trends

19% of Australians Embrace Flexitarian Diets, Taste Top Priority for Omnivores, Reveals New Study

The latest research by the polling institute YouGov shows that 19% of Australians consider themselves flexitarians, eating primarily plant-based foods and occasionally meat and fish. Additionally, across all the Australian states, the flexitarian diet was the most popular choice after a standard omnivorous diet. 

The poll also shows that 6% of consumers have adopted a vegetarian or vegan diet, driven mainly by young consumers. Notably, this trend is significantly more prevalent in Victoria, where one in ten consumers have adopted a plant-based diet, according to the authors.

The data also reveals that a lower percentage of Gen Z and Baby Boomers identified as flexitarians, with only 12%, compared to Millennials and Gen X, who were approximately 25%. Meanwhile, Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to adopt an entirely vegetarian or vegan diet than older generations, Gen X and Baby Boomers. 

The latest research by the polling institute YouGov shows that 19% of Australians consider themselves flexitarians, eating primarily plant-based foods and occasionally meat and fish.
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Taste, the top factor

However, despite the growing plant-based trend, 66% of consumers across generations still consider themselves meat eaters. Three-quarters of Baby Boomers (often referring to individuals born between 1946 and 1964) say they consume meat or poultry regularly, while three in five Millennials and Gen X also consume meat regularly. Pescetarians make up 5% of all Australian consumers.

The poll also measured taste, price, and health as top factors influencing food choices. Across all diets, taste resulted in the top consideration for consumers when deciding what to eat. But while meat eaters gave it 59% compared to price and health, pescetarians, flexitarians, and vegetarians ranked taste under 50%.

Price was the next significant consideration among meat eaters, pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans, followed by health. Nonetheless, according to YouGov, a larger proportion of flexitarians indicate health as a top consideration when deciding what to eat compared to price.

At last, the research studied the most popular cuisines across major diet types in Australia, revealing that Australian, Italian, and Thai stand out as Aussies’ most favored cuisines, followed by Chinese and Indian.

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Reducing meat consumption

Also, another study by Australia’s Griffith University has found that 32.2% of respondents have reduced their meat consumption over the past year. 

Australia is considered the world’s third fastest-growing market for plant-based foods. According to Food Frontier, consumer spending on plant-based meats in Australia is projected to reach A$3 billion by 2030. 

A report earlier this year found that the Australian alt protein industry had grown tenfold over the past few years. However, the sector faces infrastructure and supply bottlenecks challenges alongside attempts to restrict the labeling of meat alternatives.

“Earlier this year in January, we explored data from YouGov Profiles which revealed that close to two in five Australian consumers say they are actively trying to reduce their meat consumption. Now, ahead of World Food Day, latest research by YouGov reveals how widespread adoption of alternative diets in which little or no meat is consumed has grown in Australia – some ten months later,” Samuel Tan, content manager for YouGov said.

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