Premier Foods, the parent company of Bisto gravy and Paxo stuffing, has found 38% of Brits have planned to cater for a vegetarian or vegan Christmas dinner this year.
Meat-free alternatives to Christmas ingredients are widely available as growing concerns about the environmental impacts and ethics of animal farms have seen the number of UK adults following a meat-free diet grow to more than seven million.
The food manufacturer also found that 61% of Brits said roast potatoes are the most important ingredient in their Christmas Day meal, stuffing and pigs in blankets came in second at 50% and gravy at 46%.
Despite the rise in plant-based diets, the company also found that consumers are not willing to give up gravy or compromise on flavour.
Sales for Premier Foods’ meat-free Beef and Chicken Oxo cubes grew 60% in the 12 weeks to 27 November 2021, against the same period last year.
Additionally, the research highlighted some of the UK’s popular Christmas leftover recipe ideas.
The Christmas sandwich received the most votes at 52%, the growing drive to reduce food waste has also seen consumers experiment with curries, stir-fries, pasta bakes and risottos.
“For an increasing number of families, including my own, Christmas lunch is evolving to reflect the changing diets of those gathered around the table,” Premier Foods chief marketing officer Yilmaz Erceyes said.
“Whether you’re tucking into a turkey or a nut roast. Meat-based dishes will always have a place at the Christmas table, but it’s exciting to see products evolve to meet the changing need of consumers – not just vegans and vegetarians but flexitarians too.”
Erceyes added: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen a noticeable shift in cooking habits as people spend, and enjoy, a little more time in the kitchen each week.
“This Christmas will be no different as families cater for different diets and experiment with new leftover recipes on Boxing Day.”