Nestle Professional savoury food category manager Rohini Alam commented: “The increasing number of flexitarians in the UK reflects the need for more meat-free alternatives. The out of home dining sector has evolved over the past few years, but our research found consumers are still looking for more meat-free options on menus.”

Out of 1000 people surveyed, 55% preferred restaurants which were concerned about sustainability, and 28% have refused to return to a particular restaurant due to its lack of concern about sustainability issues.

Nichola Ludlam-Raine, a registered dietician, said in the study: “Without compromising on taste, meat-free products offer a healthier alternative. This mass market appeal that works for meat-eaters and vegetarians is an important step for the sector as flexitarians, who are looking to reduce their meat consumption, now make up the majority of consumers. Providers should look at creative ways to include these alternatives in menus, tweaking already popular dishes to meet the demand for healthier, more sustainable meals.”