Danish supermarket chains Coop and Dansk Supermarked have recorded a marked increase in sales of vegetarian and vegan substitutes for meat and dairy, such as soybean sausages, tofu, falafels and burger patties made from lentils.
“When we look at the sales of meat replacement products, we see an increase of 25-30 percent in the period from 2014-15, and this year won’t be any different,” Lars Aarup, the chief analyst at Coop, told radio P1 Morgen.
The number of flexitarians, people who primarily follow plant-based diet but occasionally eat meat or fish, is growing in Denmark, according to Sisse Fagt, a senior scientist at the National Food Institute.
“These are mainly young people, women and those who live in large cities,” Fagt explained.
Fagt estimates that only about five percent of the nation’s population does not eat meat at all.
Meat less important
“Our research suggests that the importance of meat in our meal preparations is undergoing changes,” Fagt said.
“We can see that when it comes to everyday family dishes, meat is no longer at the centre but is increasingly being used just as an ingredient to add taste.”
A survey carried out by Coop has revealed that 3.3 percent of the chain’s customers describe themselves as vegetarians, vegans or pescatarians, while 4.1 percent describe themselves as flexitarians.