Of the 3.5 million people who identify as vegan in the United Kingdom, 51 percent do so for ethical reasons, according to a new study published by market research firm GlobalData. The firm polled 2,000 participants across the UK in July to better understand the reasons behind consumers eschewing animal products, and found that in addition to ethical concerns, 46.6 percent of consumers chose veganism for health reasons, 29.2 percent did so for religious reasons, and 16.1 percent do not consume animal products due to allergies. Since 2016, the UK vegan population has increased by 600 percent, a trend that GlobalData Lead Analyst Emily Stella credits to the growing accessibility of vegan food. “Development in high-quality meat substitutes has propelled acceptance and uptake—the Beyond Meat burger that ‘bleeds’ reached Tesco’s meat shelves last week,” Stella said. GlobalData found that 79 percent of vegans are satisfied with the products available to them, which Stella explains represents growth opportunities for supermarkets. “How grocers manage product placement in store is also important; the founder of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown, stipulates that their products must be located in the meat aisles, alongside other points in stores, as too many potential shoppers—many of whom may be meat eaters—are otherwise lost,” Stella said. “Price is also a concern; at Tesco, a pack of two Beyond Burgers is sold at £5.50 ($7.00), which is prohibitively high when the cost of two beef burger patties are almost half that. However, as the supply of meat substitutes becomes more plentiful, the price should also drop.”

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