Global Processing

Horsemeat scandal leads to less meat consumption in UK

November 11, 2013

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The horsemeat scandal in the UK has affected many Britons' willingness to consume meat, according to a new survey by the Eating Better alliance. A quarter of UK consumers say they now eat less meat than they did a year ago and more than a third say they are willing to consider cutting down on meat consumption. By contrast, the proportion of people who have increased the amount of meat they eat stood at just 2 percent.

The products that consumers are most willing to remove from their diet are processed meats and ready-to-eat meals, the survey found. Many consumers are less likely to buy cheaper meat that they consider to be less healthy, as well as meat that is of poorer quality or whose origin they are unsure of.

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Among the key reasons for being wary of meat consumption, respondents listed concerns for animal welfare, budget constraints and food quality and safety concerns. Young consumers are the most likely to give up on meat products, with 17 percent of them claiming they do not eat meat at all.

Meanwhile, the survey also highlighted consumers' support for better labeling practices and more detailed information about the animals and the origin of the products. Nearly half of those interviewed confirmed they were ready to pay more to buy meat which is healthier, tastes better and is manufactured in accordance with higher animal welfare standards.