Cutting down on meat saved British consumers more than £2.8 billion ($3.6 billion) last year, according to a recent study commissioned by vegetarian brand Linda McCartney Foods. Researchers polled 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom and found that 26 percent reduced their meat intake during the last 12 months, and in doing so saved an average of £210 ($270) each. The study also predicted the proportion of vegetarians will increase from one-fifth to one-third by 2050 if present trends continue. Additionally, one-third of the study participants believe vegans and vegetarians will outnumber meat eaters in the UK within the next 23 years. “Vegetarianism has been growing over the last few years at a previously unseen rate,” Charles Banks, director of food trends agency The Food People, said. “There are a number of motivations driving people to alter their behavior, [including] ethics, economics, environment, health, and accessibility. Therefore, it is most often a combination of factors that are forcing consumers to rethink their daily diets.” The study also found one-quarter of participant do not enjoy meat as much as they used to, partly due to the availability of better vegetarian alternatives. “The accessibility of vegetarian and vegan food has had the biggest impact, as it moves towards a more inclusive, mainstream lifestyle choice,” Banks said.

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