39 Percent of Chinese Population Is Ditching Meat

New data shows that the world’s largest consumers of meat are actively seeking plant-based alternatives to animal products.

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A new survey conducted by Plant & Food Research (PFR), the Ministry for Primary Industries in New Zealand in collaboration with market research firm Mintel Consulting found that 39 percent of Chinese residents are actively reducing their consumption of meat, particularly pork. In August 2017, PFR surveyed 2000 participants online to find that 60 percent intend to eat more plant-based foods, while 42 percent believe that meat production is harmful to the environment. Participants revealed that in place of meat, they consume more vegetables, tofu, and plant-based meat alternatives. While PFR explained that a “sudden shift” toward plant-based diets is not anticipated as Chinese culinary traditions are deeply tied to meat consumption, the researchers used their findings to make recommendations for the future of food production in New Zealand. “China was New Zealand’s largest export destination for all primary industries in 2017, importing 9.2 billion dollars worth of product,” the report stated. “We need to build our understanding of protein consumption and dietary attitudes in this market in order to prepare for any future shifts in consumer behavior.”