Traditional sources of beef and protein such as beef, pork, chicken and turkey are losing ground as consumers more regularly eat meals without them. Sixty-two percent of consumers eat a meatless meal at least once weekly, while 45% of younger consumers who eat vegetarian or vegan meals are vegetarians or vegans, compared to 30% of older consumers, according to Technomic.
The difference may be finding its way to seafood, vegetarian or vegan entrees, which consumers increasingly find healthier than meat. Seventy-two percent of respondents who increased seafood purchases over the past two years say they did so to eat more healthily.
Another part of the reason for the decline may be rising beef and pork prices, which is causing 21% of consumers order beef less often than before, according to an earlier Technomic study. Still, despite the decline, 85% of consumers still eat beef at least once weekly, while 69% eat pork.