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More than one in five Brits will be meat-free by 2020, with number of vegans set to triple

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  • Veganism will gain the most new followers in 2019, with numbers set to triple by the end of the year 
  • A vegetarian diet is the cheapest on average, costing 26 percent less than a diet that includes meat

Almost 12 million Brits (22%) say they will follow a vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian diet by the end of this year, according to new research by personal finance comparison website, finder.com.

The number of adults currently following these diets totals 6.5 million, meaning that the number of non-meat eaters would almost double this year if people stick to their resolutions.

Those opting to become vegetarian will save the most each year as finder.com’s research has found it to be the cheapest diet overall. A balanced vegetarian diet costs an average of £1,545 a year, which is £457 (26 percent) less than a meat-inclusive diet (£2,002).

The analysis showed that a vegan diet is actually the most expensive diet overall, costing £2,073 annually. However, this works out at just £2 extra per week compared to following a non-specific diet.

Despite sometimes being regarded as the most expensive diet to follow, the pescatarian diet costs  £1,973 a year, which is £29 cheaper than a diet that also includes meat.

If everyone followed through with their dietary plans in 2019, Brits would spend an additional £4.6bn on vegan diets, £2.8bn on pescatarian diets and £2.4bn on vegetarian diets over a year. This would equal a shift of £9.9bn from omnivore diets to meat-free ones.

New recruits: Veganism will be the most popular diet Brits adopt in 2019

The diet that will have the most new recruits in 2019 looks set to be veganism, as 2.2 million intend to take up this lifestyle. This would see the total number of vegans increase by a remarkable 327 percent, to a total of 2.9 million people.

Vegetarianism is currently the most popular of these three diets with 3.6 million followers, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. An additional 1.5 million people are aiming to follow suit this year, which would see 10 percent of the adult population being vegetarian by 2020.

Despite looking like it will have the fewest new recruits this year, the pescatarian diet is still likely to see numbers rise by 67 percent in 2019, resulting in a total of 3.6 million followers.

Younger generations significantly more likely to be meat-free

Generationally, the percentage of people who eat meat, and don’t currently intend to change, increases with age. While 94 percent of those in the silent generation (born before 1945) and 86 percent of baby boomers eat meat, this figure drops to under two thirds (63%) for post-millenials (born after 1996).

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